European Accessibility Act (EAA) – What you need to know

June 28, 2025. That’s the deadline for all banking services and e-commerce in the EU to be fully compliant with the European Accessibility Act (EAA). Here’s a straight-to-the-point summary of what you need to know!

Gavel on a laptop keyboard.


The EU combines two of their general goals in the European Accessibility Act. First, the EU wants people with disabilities to be included in, and get full access to society. Second, the EU want companies competing on the inner european market to have clear and fair rules, equal for all participants, no matter which European country you are based in. That’s the background for creating the new EAA regulation.

In a nutshell, the purpose of the EAA is for products and services to be accessible for consumers:

  • Without vision
  • With limited vision
  • Without perception of color
  • Without hearing
  • With limited hearing
  • Without vocal capability
  • With limited manipulation or strength
  • With limited reach
  • With risk of photosensitive seizures
  • With limited cognition

Who is affected?

Six types of consumer services are affected, as well as eight types of consumer products.

Any company selling or providing these are affected. For services, all ICT (information and communication technologies) used by consumers to access the services are covered – for example self-checkout kiosks used to pay for groceries in a physical store.

It’s important to note that it is the service or product that is targeted, not the company as a whole. That means, if an e-commerce website has a page for consumers, and another page for business-to-business then only the page for consumers needs to comply with the new regulation.

Affected consumer services

  1. Electronic communication services like network subscriptions, phone calls, e-mail, SMS, chat, video conferences.
  2. Media services like streaming services or program guides in TV-boxes.
  3. Transport services like websites, apps or electronic ticket kiosks needed to access the transportation service.
  4. Banking services, including websites, apps and queueing systems or kiosks in a physical bank office.
  5. E-books
  6. E-commerce including any website or app where a purchase can be made of a product or service.

Affected consumer products

  1. Computers, including laptops, smartphones, tablets etc.
  2. Payment terminals including payment card readers.
  3. Kiosks for cash withdrawal
  4. Self service terminals, if the terminal is used for ticket sales, check-in etcetera for services covered in “Affected consumer services”.
  5. Interactive information terminals, but only if they are used for the services listed above, and are interactive. For example interactive screens used to present time tables at the train station are affected, but if the screen just presents the departure times (not interactive) then it’s not covered.
  6. Products used to access communication services, like routers, modems and smartphones.
  7. Products used to access media services, like digital TV boxes or smart-TVs.
  8. Reading tablets used to read e-books.

What are the penalties?

The biggest risk is that you might no longer be allowed to sell your services in the EU. Loosing the EU as a market is likely the biggest consequence for most companies.

However, the more likely consequence for most is sanctions – the size depending on each contry. In many countries sanctions will be in the range $1000 – $1 000 000, and with multiple or recurring compliance issues there can be many sanctions.

In some countries law makers have added prison sentences of up to 18 months to the penalty scale. Others, like Latvia, have added “confiscation or destruction of property” as a potential consequence.

What do you need to do?

You need to conform with relevant standards and guidelines. There are also some documentation requirements. Exact requirements and interpretations can differ between each contry, but the EAA sets a very clear baseline for all countries in the EU. This regulation is intended to be be consistently implemented – so the variance will likely be very small.

Design for all

Accessibility is about making something that works for people with diverse abilities. So the standards to follow are all focused on making sure your users with or without disabilities can use your products and services. The best way to accomplish this is probably to work together with users with disabilities and making sure in usability tests that they can actually use your stuff! If actual people with disabilities have a good user experience – you will comply with most formal legislation on the fly.

However, the Directive that’s the foundation for the EAA, points towards standards that specify formal, testable criteria for compliance.

EN 301 549

The EU standard EN 301 549 covers the formal requirements for products and services. The section about requirements for web and apps is mainly a copy-paste of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

There are a few WCAG criteria that don’t apply in EU – for instance you don’t have to caption live streamed videos even though it’s a WCAG requirement – and some that go beyond WCAG – like having to support dark mode. But apart from a few exceptions like those, it’s WCAG that applies.

WCAG – for web content

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines list 50+ criteria for accessible web content. It’s divided into 3 levels; A, AA and AAA. The law requires conforming with level A and AA requirements only.

As an example, the first WCAG criteria 1.1.1 states that all non-text content, like images, must have a text-alternative for users who cannot see the image. If your website has only text content – you already pass this criteria. Congratulations!

WCAG is versioned, and as of writing this article, the latest version is 2.2. Some legal documents still point towards version 2.1, but you may as well start working with version 2.2, as conforming with version 2.2 also means you conform with version 2.1.


For iOS and Android apps, you need to conform with relevant parts of the WCAG. Out of the current 56 criteria in WCAG 2.2, only 44 apply to apps. There are a few more general requirements for ICT in the EN 301 549 that also apply to apps (read chapters 4 and 5). But as a rule of thumb – if you make sure you meet the success criteria in the WCAG (interpreted in an “app” way), you will come a long way!

The WCAG beginners’ guide on is a good place to start understanding how to conform with WCAG in iOS and Android apps.


Documents (commonly PDFs), that are a part of the product or services covered by the EAA, also have to be accessible if they are intended to be read by your users as a part of the service. This includes “terms and conditions” and similar documents, but also interactive form documents like loan application forms in PDF.

Any documentation of the product or service needs to be available in an accessible digital format like an accessible webpage (HTML), or an accessible PDF.

Hardware, payment terminals, kiosks and physical devices

The requirements for hardware differ depending on the type of service the hardware provides. On top of that – there are often other laws governing physical products that overlap the EAA or add to the complexity.

Check out our indepth article on that theme:

European accessibility act (EAA): kiosks, touch screens and physical devices


Making sure your software and hardware works well for users with disabilities is important, and now also legally required in the EU. You may want to get expert help evaluating if your current websites, apps and devices are compliant! Luckily there are companies like ours that can help you with that.

The standards are great tools, but remember – the purpose of these laws are to make sure your stuff works well for everyone. A fully compliant piece of ICT can still technically be completely useless, so try to involve users in your efforts to test your product or service – preferably users with disabilities!

Get some help along the way

If you need help sorting out what your organization should do, in what order, and how to do it – reach out to us here at Axess Lab. We are specialised in digital accessibility, and stand ready to help your team! Here are a few of the things we can help you with when you are ready to start the journey:

Accessibility review

Usability testing with people with disabilities

Accessibility statement – let us create it for you!

Accessibility training, workshops and talks

Or just drop us a message on and we’ll take it from there.

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