Skip to main content

Does the European Accessibility Act 2025 mean my website will need to be accessible?

Written by Simon Leadbetter, published on

If you are asking the question, ‘Does my website need to be accessible?’, then the answer is yes — irrespective of existing or future laws. However, change is (finally) coming with new laws set by the European Commission in its European Accessibility Act (EEA) 2025 which seeks equal access to digital products and services across Europe.

A blue background with 12 yellow stars in a circle. Within the circle is a symbol of a person.

Importantly…

  • It applies to any business that wishes to trade in the EU, wherever it is based

  • It becomes law in all EU member states in June 2025

  • It covers a wide range of goods and services, including websites

When exactly does the European Accessibility Act 2025 become law?

At the time of publishing this article, you have just one year to make the required changes.

28 June 2025 marks the day that the European Accessibility Act becomes law, so you’d better get your skates on if you want to avoid being in breach.

If you need help, Digital Accessibility can help.

What does the European Accessibility Act 2025 cover?

The European Accessibility Act 2025 identifies key products and services that are likely to have diverging accessibility requirements for persons with disabilities.

They include:

  • E-commerce websites

  • E-books

  • TV equipment related to digital television services

  • Banking services

  • Computers and operating systems

  • ATMs (cash machines), ticketing and check-in machines

  • Smartphones

  • Telephony services and related equipment

  • Services related to air, bus, rail and waterborne passenger transport

Here is the important part of the legislation…

No matter the country of production or origin, all these products and services will need to be completely accessible to all EU citizens.

Is my business affected by the EEA 2025 even though we are based in the UK?

In 2018, the UK published the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations (PSBAR), but this only affects public sector organisations. In contrast, the EEA covers businesses in the private sector.

  • It applies to any business that trades in the EU.

  • It applies to any business with at least 10 staff and a turnover above €2 million.

  • Companies headquartered based outside the EU must comply with the Act if they sell relevant goods or services within the EU.

This means that if your business trades in the EU, it will be affected by the European Accessibility Act.

Is your business based in the Republic of Ireland?

Obviously, if your business is based in Ireland then you will need to pay serious attention to the EEA. Being UK based, Digital Accessibility is perfectly placed to help any business based in the Republic of Ireland.

What are the penalties for breaching the EEA?

The penalties differ between the EU member states; however, what is clear is the intention to enforce these laws. Therefore, you should consider the following points before ignoring the impact of EAA:

  • Legal action from individuals or advocacy groups representing people with disabilities will become more prevalent.

  • Fines are likely to differ between member states and based on the severity of the breach. Ireland has announced fines of up to €5000 for a summary conviction or €60,000 for a conviction on indictment.

  • Prison sentences are a possibility too as Ireland will, in place or in addition to the fines outlined above, issue 6-18 month prison sentences .

  • Exclusion from procurement processes. As EAA compliance becomes more commonplace across Europe, it is easy to see how winning contracts will become harder if you do not embrace the EEA framework.

  • Damage to your reputation. Brands can be easily tarnished by negative publicity.

  • Loss of customers. Inaccessible products alienate potential customers that you spend so much effort to attract to your website.

  • Disruption. It will be costly and disruptive if your business is forced to modify products, services, or websites to meet EAA standards.

What is the European Accessibility Act 2025 based on?

Like the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations, the European Accessibility Act 2025 enforces the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.

This should be seen as a baseline for accessibility conformance and enhancement should be made beyond the guidelines wherever possible.

What steps do you need to take?

Non-compliance is not an option, so you will need to prepare for the 2025 European Accessibility Act.

Consider the following steps:

  1. Do you sell products or services that are available to European audiences? If you do then you fall under the purview of the European Accessibility Act 2025.

  2. Carry out an exhaustive accessibility audit of your website. You should consider Digital Accessibility for this step as we offer training (an important part of continued conformance) as well as accessibility audit.

  3. Prioritise the accessibility improvements from the audit and work with your web developers who will implement accessibility optimisations.

  4. Conduct frequent accessibility audits to ensure your website doesn’t fall behind evolving legislation.

Why do I need Digital Accessibility?

The first call you will probably make will be to the agency who built your website. However, how certain are you that they have all the skills required to properly test your website?

They may offer a report produced from an automated scan containing failed WCAG checkpoints. This is a good start, but accessibility conformance does not end there.

We specialise in training web teams, content authors and product owners to fully understand digital accessibility through a series of workshop and next-level accessibility audits.

It would be wise to get us involved at the beginning of the process so we can guide you on your journey to conformance.

Call us on +44 (0)20 4505 8420 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

References

  1. European Accessibility Act - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

  2. European Accessibility Act: Q&A

  3. Global report on health equity for persons with disabilities

  4. The EEA 2025 document

  5. European Accessibility Act Implemented into Irish Law

Digital Accessibility can help

We have years of experience creating accessible websites so we can help you gain the required conformance level with a combination of our accessibility training, accessibility audits and advice.

If you have any questions then do get in touch.

Make an enquiry

You may also like…

This calculator is the best in the world and a design classic!

This is the best calculator in the world! Why? We explore what a UX designer (or any designer for that matter) can learn from this everyday object. 2 plus 2 is 4, now that’s quick maths.

Read more

The case for using an accessible typeface

For someone with poor vision, learning disabilities, aphasia, or dyslexia, the readability of text or a document is not only due to the colour combination. It also greatly depends upon the font or typeface used.

Read more

Making websites accessible and open for business

DDA, WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, AAA, AA , A, ADA, W3C, WebAIM, WAI, 508.

It is fair to say that the website industry, like many others, does like an acronym/initialism. What you may find surprising is that the few I have listed above all relate to website accessibility.

This article will unravel the minefield that is website accessibility.

Read more