In June 2025, a new version of the European Accessibility Act (EAA) will be enacted. This marks a significant stride towards inclusivity and promotes equal access to products and services for all users, including those with disabilities.
In this digital age where the internet is a vital gateway to information, communication and services, website accessibility is not just good practice; it’s a social responsibility.
This article will explore the implications of the European Accessibility Act and provide tips for enhancing the accessibility of your website.
Understanding the European Accessibility Act
The European Accessibility Act aims to eliminate barriers and promote accessibility across various goods and services, with a specific focus on digital accessibility. In preparation for the legislation changes next year, business owners must assess the accessibility of their websites and implement any necessary changes.
Why website accessibility matters?
Website accessibility is incredibly important, and here’s why!
First things first, website accessibility is protected under the law, and non-compliance could have legal or financial consequences. For example, in 2019, Beyonce’s entertainment company, Parkwood Entertainment, came under fire for having an inaccessible website, and if Beyonce can’t get away with it, no one can!
Around 16% of the world’s population is living with a disability, highlighting the need for inclusive online environments. Prioritising website accessibility demonstrates corporate social responsibility.
Improving website accessibility enhances the user experience for everyone, not just those with disabilities. It broadens your audience and fosters a positive perception of your brand, which can increase revenue.
How to make your website more accessible
Now that we’ve discussed the EAA and the importance of digital accessibility, here are our top tips for improving your website.
1. Use an accessible CMS
When building your website, choose a content management system that supports web accessibility. Be sure that page layouts, themes, widgets, plugins, and other aspects are compatible with web accessibility standards.
2. Use Headers
Ensure your website is structured in a logical and straightforward way by using descriptive and concise headings. Headings allow screen readers to interpret information better and can also boost your SEO score.
3. Provide alt tags for images
Images on a webpage can be great, but they can pose a challenge for users with limited or impaired vision. Assign descriptive alt tags to allow users to understand the image through a screen reader.
4. Implement keyboard accessibility
Check that your website can be fully navigated using the tab and arrow keys or alternative hardware like a mouth stick or single-switch input. Ensuring your website is fully accessible using a keyboard assists users with mobility or visual impairments who may not use a traditional mouse.
5. Choose your colours wisely
Opt for high colour contrast between the text and the background to enhance readability and benefit users with visual impairments or colour blindness. If you don’t contrast colours properly, users may struggle to find key information or call-to-action buttons.
To check the contrast of colours on your site, add the Google Chrome extension, Let’s Get Colourblind.
6. Provide Transcripts and Captions
Include transcripts for audio content and captions for videos. This ensures the information is accessible to a broader audience, including those with hearing impairments.
The European Accessibility Act encourages brands to adopt a forward-thinking approach to digital design and development. Businesses should embrace the challenge of inclusive design and recognise it as an opportunity to attract new customers and become a more socially conscious brand.
Implementing accessibility measures ensures legal compliance and contributes to customer loyalty and business growth. To find out how Puddle can help, get in touch.