European Accessibility Act
The European Accessibility Act (Directive 2019/882) is a landmark EU law that mandates everyday products and services to be accessible to people with disabilities. This law is in line with the EU and all Member States' commitment to accessibility upon ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The European Accessibility Act (Directive 2019/882) aims to improve accessibility for at least 87 million people in Europe who have disabilities or temporary impairments. The intention is to ensure that all people have access to information and communication technologies by the year 2030. To achieve this goal, it has mandated that all products and services are accessible to everyone on an equal basis, regardless of abilities.
Here's a list of which products and services are covered by the Act:
- Computers and operating systems
- Smartphones and other communication devices
- TV equipment related to digital television services
- ATMs and payment terminals (e.g., card payment machines in supermarkets)
- Ticketing and check-in machines
- Phone services
- Banking services
- Websites, mobile services, electronic tickets and all sources of information for air, bus, rail and waterborne transport services
- Access to Audio-visual media services (AVMS)
- Calls to the European emergency number 112
- Your product must be accessible to people with disabilities. You can use alternatives to speech for communication, flexible magnification, volume adjustment and more. Feel to be flexible and innovative.
- Your official website must provide information about the accessibility features of your products. Be sure to allow users to access and navigate your website, even when using assistive devices.
Member states are responsible for the information on transposing EU law into national law. The Commission verifies the accuracy, and the collection of national transposition measures is weekly updated. Member states are obligated to:
- Perform regular compliance checks on your product
- Review and address complaints
- Ensure your company take corrective actions
- Provide clear avenues for people to file complaints
Starting on 28 June 2025, your customers can submit complaints to national courts or authorities if your products do not adhere to the new rules.
In 2017, SAS launched a redesigned website that failed to meet many criteria set by DIFI. SAS was given a deadline to fix the issues, and failure to comply would result in a fine of € 15,000 per day.
SAS created a separate website for individuals with disabilities instead of making the primary website compliant, resulting in $200,000 in civil penalties from the USA's Department of Transportation in November 2018.