Accessibility regulations sweep the globe! With a rising tide of individuals relying on online platforms for essential services, the call for equal access to digital content has never been louder. Yet, for the 135 million people with disabilities in the European Union, the digital journey presents huge obstacles. Join the European Accessibility Act (EAA), the game-changer introduced by the European Commission to break down barriers and make online experiences accessible to all.
What is the EAA?
The European Accessibility Act (EAA) is a legislative initiative by the European Union (EU) promoting the accessibility of products and services for persons with disabilities. The act was adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2019 and is part of the EU’s efforts to create a barrier-free and inclusive society.
The main objective is to ensure that a wide range of products and services are accessible to people with disabilities. The EAA sets out general requirements that organizations need to follow to achieve accessibility. Some key areas of compliance include:
- Digital Accessibility – websites, applications, documents
- Communication and Emergency Services
- Transport and Mobility
- Access to Audiovisual Media Services
- Accessible Products and Services – banking, e-commerce, e-books, ATMs, etc.
The EAA Timeline
Companies impacted by the European Accessibility Act must meet the final deadline of 2025. By June 2022, all EU member states completed the translation and adoption of the directive into their respective national legislation. The enforcement of the law is required by July 2025.
The EAA Standards Compliance
The EAA directive serves as a roadmap to ensure the documents, websites, and applications are accessible to all. By embracing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and PDF/UA standards, you not only comply with the EU law but also unleash the potential to engage a broader audience. So, dive into accessibility compliance, and watch your web content and business soar in popularity!
Let’s Analyze: WCAG & PDF/UA
WCAG sets the rules for making web content and HTML-based material accessible. It’s the foundation for important laws as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act in the United States.
Then there’s PDF/UA, which focuses on making PDF documents accessible. Both WCAG and PDF/UA have the same goal: make the content easy for computer technology to read. These standards are managed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in Europe, but different organizations developed them.
Think of WCAG and PDF/UA as partners working together, they complement each other. No matter where your business is located, these international standards ensure that your content is accessible to everyone, not just locally, but globally.
PDFix Accessibility Checker
Stop searching, you are in the right place! PDFix offers free PDF accessibility checker to help you ensure that your files are truly accessible. It provides a fast way to check PDF files for compliance with PDF/UA standards and makes it easy to spot all problems. What’s more, it finds accessibility issues, explains the problem, and offers suggestions on how to resolve each issue.
PDFix Desktop Lite provides an automated way to check the accessibility of a PDF file.
- Industry supported PDF/UA Validation
- Ability to define further checks to enforce institutional policy
- Quick navigation to errors in Tags, Content, or Annotations panes
- Compatible with PAC, Adobe Acrobat
The Best Place to Start
Explore and invest in PDF accessibility software or tools that can assist in the remediation and creation of accessible PDF documents. These tools can automate accessibility tasks necessary for your business, such as adding alternative text or validating accessibility compliance.
PDFix Desktop Pro is a complex solution for PDF Accessibility, PDF Conversion, and Data Extraction designed for professionals and businesses of all sizes.
For Windows, Linux and macOS
PDFix Desktop Lite is a multiplatform PDF viewer with a built-in accessibility tool.
PDFix Desktop is a complex solution for PDF Accessibility, PDF Conversion and Data Extraction designed for professionals and businesses of all sizes.
PDFix SDK is a cross-platform solution to Automatically Extract Structured Data from any PDF.