Cos'è l'EAA?
Cos'è l'EAA?
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If you're operating in the European Union, it's time to get ready for an important change coming your way. The European Accessibility Act (EAA) is here to ensure that everyone, including people with disabilities, can easily use digital products and services. This guide will break down everything you need to know in simple terms and help you get your business ready.

 

The Basics: Why You Should Care About the EAA

 

What Is the EAA?

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) is a law that requires certain digital products and services in the EU to be accessible to people with disabilities. This means making websites, mobile apps, e-books, and other digital tools usable by everyone.

Why Is the European Accessibility Act Important? 

Making your digital products accessible isn't just about following the law. It's about reaching a wider audience, improving customer satisfaction, and showing that your business cares about inclusivity. Plus, people with disabilities have a significant purchasing power—$2.3 trillion in the EU alone!

 

What Does the EAA Cover?

The EAA covers a variety of digital products and services, including:

  • Websites and mobile apps
  • Computers and operating systems
  • Smartphones
  • Self-service machines (like ATMs and ticket machines)
  • E-books and e-readers
  • Online shopping platforms
  • Communication tools
  • Banking services
  • Transportation services
  • Digital TV and media services
 

Your Step-by-Step Guide to EAA Compliance

1. Assess Your Current Situation

First, take a look at your current digital products. Are they accessible? Conduct an accessibility audit to find out where you stand. This will help you identify areas that need improvement.

 

2. Make a Plan

Based on your audit, create a plan to fix any issues. Think about:

  • Which problems to tackle first
  • How to test your improvements
  • Who will be responsible for making these changes
  • What training your team might need
 

3. Get the Right Tools

 
Equip your team with tools and resources to help them make your digital products accessible. Some useful tools include:
  • WAVE, a comprehensive and user-friendly tool that's been a go-to for developers to ensure website accessibility for many years.
  • Lighthouse, an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages including audits for performance, accessibility, SEO, and more.
  • Axe, A powerful and widely-used tool that integrates seamlessly into development workflows, helping developers identify and fix accessibility issues efficiently.
 

4. Implement Changes

Start fixing the accessibility issues. Make sure your team follows best practices and uses the right tools. Test your products with real users, including people with disabilities, to ensure everything works well.

 

5. Keep Monitoring and Improving

Accessibility is an ongoing process. Regularly check your digital products to ensure they remain accessible, especially when you make updates or add new features.

 

Avoiding Common Pitfalls 

 

Don’t Rely Solely on Overlays

Accessibility overlays are tools that try to fix accessibility issues automatically. They might sound like a quick fix, but they often don't work well and can even make things worse. It's better to address accessibility issues directly.

Understand the Risks of Non-Compliance

If your business doesn't comply with the EAA by June 28, 2025, you could face fines and penalties. More importantly, you'll miss out on reaching a broader audience and showing that your business values inclusivity.

 

Start Now: The Importance of Training Your Team Today 

Begin Assessing and Improving Your Digital Products Now

Don't wait until the last minute. Begin assessing and improving your digital products now to avoid a rush as the deadline approaches. Early preparation allows you to identify and fix issues methodically, ensuring thorough compliance without the stress of a looming deadline.

Train Your Team for Lasting Success

Investing in training your team today will make all the difference. When your team understands the principles of accessibility, they can incorporate them into every stage of product development. This proactive approach ensures that accessibility becomes a natural part of your workflow, rather than an afterthought.

  • Role-Based Training: Tailor training sessions to the specific roles within your team. Designers, developers, content creators, and project managers all play a part in creating accessible products.
  • Regular Workshops and Updates: Keep your team updated with the latest accessibility standards and best practices through regular workshops and training sessions.
  • Accessibility Champions: Designate team members as accessibility champions who can provide ongoing support and guidance to their colleagues.


Cultivate the Right MindsetColtiva la Giusta Mentalità 

By fostering an accessibility-first mindset, your team will always think about inclusivity from the start of any project. This mindset shift has several benefits:
  • Consistency: Ensures all new products are accessible from the outset.
  • Efficiency: Reduces the time and cost associated with retrofitting accessibility features later.
  • Innovation: Encourages creative solutions that benefit all users, not just those with disabilities.
 

Practical Steps to Start Training Now Passi Pratici per Iniziare la Formazione Ora

  • Identify Knowledge Gaps: Conduct a skills assessment to identify where your team needs the most training.
  • Provide Resources: Equip your team with resources such as online courses, webinars, and accessibility guidelines.
  • Encourage Hands-On Learning: Give your team opportunities to practice their skills through real-world projects.
  • Feedback and Improvement: Create a feedback loop where your team can share their experiences and continuously improve their accessibility practices.

Final Tips 

Celebrate Your Successes 

As you make progress, take time to celebrate your achievements. Making your products accessible is not just about compliance; it's about creating a better experience for everyone.

 

Keep Learning

Stay updated on accessibility standards and best practices. Regular training and education will help you and your team stay ahead.

By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to meeting the EAA requirements and making your digital products accessible to everyone. Happy trails on your journey to accessibility!

Article updated on: 30 May 2024
Talent Garden
Written by
Talent Garden, Digital Skills Academy

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