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European Accessibility Act

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The European Accessibility Act is a directive of the European Union (EU) which took effect in April 2019.[1][2] This directive aims to improve the trade between members of the EU for accessible products and services, by removing country specific rules. Businesses benefit from having a common set of rules within the EU, which should facilitate easier cross-border trade. It should also allow a greater market for companies providing accessible products and services. Persons with disabilities and elderly people will benefit from having more accessible products and services in the market. An increased market size should produce more competitive prices. There should be fewer barriers within the EU and more job opportunities as well.[3]

Originally proposed in 2011,[4] this act was built to complement the EU's Web Accessibility Directive which targets the public sector and became law in 2016. It also reflects the obligations of the UN's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It includes a wide range of systems including personal devices such as computers, smartphones, e-books, and TVs, as well as public services like television broadcast, automated teller machine (ATMs), ticketing machines, public transport services, banking services and e-commerce sites.[5]

The laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive have to be adopted and published by the member states by 28 June 2022. Three years later, in 2025, the requirements of the European Accessibility Act must have been implemented. The requirements and obligations of this Directive do not apply to microenterprises providing services within the scope of this Directive – whereby ‘microenterprise’ means an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 persons and which has an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 2 million or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 2 million.[6]

The European policy of applying "Design for all" principles on digital technology lead to the creation of the European Harmonized Accessibility Standards EN 301 549 which defines "Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe".[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ EUR_Lex, Directive (EU) 2019/882 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on the accessibility requirements for products and services (Text with EEA relevance), accessed 19 November 2021
  2. ^ "Document 52015PC0615".
  3. ^ "Document 52015SC0264: Impact Assessment".
  4. ^ E-Access Bulletin Live, EU accessibility policy and standards: The slow arm of the law, published 29 April 2014, accessed 20 November 2021
  5. ^ "Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion: European accessibility act".
  6. ^ "Directive (EU) 2019/882 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on the accessibility requirements for products and services (Text with EEA relevance)".
  7. ^ "Standard – EN 301 549". Archived from the original on 2017-06-16. Retrieved 2020-01-17.

External links[edit]