The European Accessibility Act (EAA) attempts to make website accessibility available for all. The issue has become important because so much of our lives are mediated through the internet. Without accessibility, sections of the population will be unable to access services that are increasingly online. Small businesses, firstly as a matter of good practice and to make themselves accessible to as wide an array of consumers as possible, and secondly, in order to comply with the EAA, need to ensure website accessibility. You can learn about the best way to boost the growth of your business organization, on this website: https://www.123top.info
What is the EAA?
The EAA is a European Union directive that came into effect in April 2019. The broad aim of the directive is to facilitate trade between EU members for accessible products and services. This is done by removing rules each country has that impede the flow of trade. WIth a common regulatory framework, the European Union believes that trade between countries will increase. The European Union believes that businesses that provide accessible goods will enjoy a larger market, because of this process. The elderly and those with disabilities, will have a larger and growing number of accessible goods. In turn, this should reduce the price of the average accessible goods, because of competition.
The directive is meant to complement the European Union’s 2016 Web Accessibility Directive and is part of the European Union’s efforts to align with the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It encompasses a broad array of systems, devices and platforms. The Happy Mango baby stores chain believes that there is a large market of people who are left out of ordinary business, and widening accessibility is both good for human rights, and good for business.
A Framework for Small Businesses
European nations have to comply with the Directive by 28 June 2022, and the Directive will be implemented in 2025. The Directive does not apply to micro-businesses with less than 10 workers, annual turnovers of less than €2 million, or net assets of less than 2 million.
So, small businesses have to ensure that their websites are accessible to the elderly and disabilities, according to the EAA’s requirements. Websites must fobe “perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust” (POUR) in order for them to comply:
- Perceivable: Users must be able to perceive the information on your website. So, for instance, you will have to have an option for subtitles for videos, or have audio for visual information.
- Operable: This refers to the ease of access of the information on the website. The website has to be easy to navigate through,
- Understable: The information on your website has to be understandable. One way to achieve this is by using plain language, rather than jargon that obscures meaning.
- Robust: It must be possible for assistive technologies to operate over your website, so that users can get transcripts of video, for example.
Small businesses have to work closely with their developers to ensure that websites are designed in ways that comply with the EAA. This includes using accessible themes, providing alt text, ie. short descriptions, for images, and transcripts for video and audio content.