European Accessibility Act (EAA)

Digital Marketing Blog

Have you thought about whether your website is accessible for all users?

Accessibility doesn’t just apply to physical environments such as drop-down buses and ramps on stairs, but also plays a crucial role in the digital space.

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With the upcoming entry into force of the German implementing Act of the Directive (EU) 2019/882 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the accessibility requirements for products and services – (in German “Barrierefreiheits­stärkungsgesetz” – BFSG) on June 28, 2025, companies in Germany and the EU are facing the challenge of making their online presence accessible.

In this comprehensive article, we explain exactly what the European Accessibility Act (EEA) involves, which companies it applies to and how you can make your website in your content-management system like WordPress accessible. We also show you the consequences if you do not comply with the requirements.

Please note that this article does not replace legal advice. You should seek legal advice for all legal questions.

What is the European Accessibility Act?

The aim of the Europeas Accessibilty Act is to strengthen the equal participation of people with disabilities in social and economic life.

Specifically, the EAA obliges companies to make their digital offerings such as websites, apps and other electronic services accessible. This is intended to remove barriers that have previously prevented people with disabilities from using these services on an equal footing.

The BFSG replaces the previously applicable Barrier-free Information Technology Ordinance (BITV), which only applied to public bodies such as authorities and state-funded websites. With the new law, private companies are now also required to comply.

When will the EAA come into force?

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The European Accessibility Act comes into force on June 28, 2025. From this date, all affected companies must have made their digital offerings accessible.

Transition periods until mid-2030 apply to existing products and services, but new offerings must meet the accessibility standards from June 28, 2025 at the latest.

Who does the Accessibility Improvement Act apply to?

The Accessibility Reinforcement Act primarily affects companies that offer digital products or services. These include in particular:

  • Online stores and e-commerce providers
  • Websites with contact forms, appointment bookings or other interactive elements
  • Providers of e-commerce services
  • Manufacturers of hardware systems such as computers, tablets, smartphones or ATMs
  • Providers of passenger transportation services with digital booking platforms

Only micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover of no more than 2 million euros are exempt from the BFSG.

 

Do the requirements also apply in the B2B sector?

The European Accessibility Act mainly applies to the B2C sector, i.e. to companies that offer products and services directly to end consumers.

Services and products that are provided exclusively to other companies (B2B) and are not accessible to end consumers are not subject to the requirements of the EAA.

This means that companies in the pure B2B sector are exempt from the provisions of the EAA.

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What does accessibility mean for websites?

According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, websites must fulfill four key principles to be considered accessible.

These principles ensure that all users, including people with disabilities, can access and interact with the content.

✔ Perceptibility

Information and operating elements must be accessible to all users, including those with visual impairments. This includes e.g. alternative texts for images and easy-to-read contrast.

✔ Usability

The website must be fully controllable via the keyboard without users having to rely on a mouse. Time limits for interactions must also be taken into account.

✔ Comprehensibility

The content and functions of the website must be easy to understand for all visitors. This includes simple language, clear structures and unambiguous labeling.

✔ Robustness

The website must be compatible with a variety of different end devices and aids such as screen readers, now and in the future.

What are the consequences of non-compliance with the EAA?

Companies that do not meet the requirements of the Accessibility Improvement Act must expect severe consequences:

  • The responsible market surveillance authorities can order the non-accessible website or service to be discontinued.
  • Violations of the BFSG can be classified as an administrative offense, which can be punished with fines of up to 100,000 euros.
  • Affected users or consumer protection associations can warn companies and sue them for injunctive relief.
  • Competitors can assert claims under competition law if the lack of accessibility is deemed to be unfair competition.
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Why is accessibility important?

Accessibility in the digital sphere and in search engine optimization is of great importance for several reasons:

  1. Inclusion and participation: Around 10% of Germans live with a disability. Accessible websites give them equal access to products, services and information.
  2. Growing target group: With demographic change, the proportion of older people is constantly increasing. Many of them have age-related limitations from which accessibility benefits.
  3. Better user experience: Accessibility measures, such as simple operation, voice search and clear structures, benefit all website visitors and improve the user experience.
  4. Competitive advantages: Accessible websites perform better in search engine rankings and can increase conversion rates. This sets you apart from the competition.
  5. Legal compliance: From 2025, accessibility will be a legal requirement. Companies that do not meet the requirements risk high penalties.

How can Loyamo make your website accessible?

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As experts in digital marketing, we support companies in adapting their websites and digital offerings to the requirements of the Accessibility Improvement Act in good time.

Our service portfolio includes:

  • Accessible website design: We optimize your website in accordance with the WCAG guidelines so that it can be used by people with disabilities.

  • Technical review: Our experts carry out a comprehensive accessibility check to identify weaknesses and identify potential for improvement.

  • Consulting and design: We work with you to develop a customized accessibility strategy that meets your individual needs.

  • Implementation and training: Our team implements the optimization measures and trains your employees so that accessibility is maintained in the long term.

Conclusion: Barrier-free website optimization

From June 28, 2025, the European Accessibility Act (EAA) obliges companies to make their digital offerings barrier-free. The aim is to give people with disabilities equal access to products, services and information on the internet.

This primarily affects online stores, websites with interactive elements, hardware manufacturers and providers of passenger transportation services. Small companies with fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover of 2 million euros are exempt from the requirements.

To be considered accessible, websites must meet the principles of perceptibility, usability, comprehensibility and robustness. Companies that do not comply with the accessibility standards risk high penalties, warnings and even having their website shut down.

Loyamo supports you in adapting your digital presence to the new legal requirements in good time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions & answers on the subject of the EAA:

What is the European Accessibility Act?

The European Accessibility Act is a law that aims to improve and ensure accessibility in various areas of life. It was passed to give people with disabilities equal access to services, products and information and thus promote their participation in social life.

The EAA covers a wide range of areas, including:

  • Public transportation and transportation infrastructure
  • Digital services and websites
  • Products such as ATMs, payment terminals and self-service kiosks
  • Services in the financial sector, including online banking
  • E-books and other digital content

The EAA affects both public and private actors. These include:

  • Public administrations and institutions
  • Companies that offer services and products that fall under the Act
  • Operators of means of transport and transport infrastructure

The deadlines for implementing the requirements of the FSIA vary depending on the area and specific regulations. As a rule, the stakeholders concerned must make the necessary adjustments within several years of the Act coming into force. Detailed information on the exact deadlines is set out in the legal text and may vary depending on the sector. It is important to find out about the specific deadlines in good time and to plan appropriate measures.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the BFSG can have various consequences, including:

  • Fines and other legal sanctions
  • Obligation to rectify and remove barriers
  • Possible legal action by those affected who have been disadvantaged due to a lack of accessibility
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Written by:

Consultant

Michaela Melber supports companies of all sizes with a focus on SEA and performance marketing. She is also active in all other online marketing areas such as content marketing and SEO.

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