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2025 is the deadline for digital accessibility

Kelsey Anderson
Kelsey Anderson
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
6 min read
21 February 2023

Updated July 2024 

On June 28th, 2025, the European Accessibility Act will be in full force. This act affects all websites and apps in e-commerce, travel, and banking.

Want to know where your website currently stands? We’ve developed an accessibility checker to get an indication of compliance.

Check your website’s accessibility score here.

To-do before June 2025 

Achieving full compliance with accessibility standards isn’t a one-time task. It’s a process. Here’s what all brands need to think about today: 

  • Get ready for 2025. Start by getting a full accessibility analysis to see what needs to be modified regarding UI design, front-end code, or contact. Don’t wait too long because defining, implementing, and testing requires planning and effort. 
  • Be transparent about your status and efforts. Every website should have an Accessibility Statement (usually a link in the footer). This will help you communicate what’s accessible now and in future initiatives.
  • Make accessibility top of mind in your organization. While GDPR made businesses more responsible for user privacy, accessibility legislation like the EAA (EU), ADA (US), and Equality Act (UK) are also forcing companies to prioritize inclusion.
  • Find an experienced partner: At DEPT®, our teams are trained in accessibility and can make sure your digital properties meet the highest standards. We’re already collaborating with businesses like the Van Gogh Museum and BISSELL on accessibility initiatives, and we’d love to help you, too. 

Only 3% of the internet is accessible to people with disabilities

Increased accessibility for people living with disabilities should be an objective for every organization. It’s not just the right thing to do. Legislation is also about to move the goalposts for accessibility standards. 

The latest is The European Accessibility Act (EAA), which will come into force on June 28, 2025. From that moment on, all websites, apps, and digital kiosks operating in the EU for travel, banking, and e-commerce will be required to embrace accessibility (the recommendation is WCAG 2.2 level AA). There are other accessibility regulations worldwide, too.

The accessibility of a UK website is covered by the Equality Act 2010. if a business’s website is not accessible, then the website owner could be sued for discrimination.

Under US law, if a business’s website is not accessible, then the website owner could be sued for discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In Argentina, public and private websites must be accessible under Law 26,653.

Australia’s primary accessibility law is section 24 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), which directs all Australian public-facing websites to meet the WCAG accessibility requirements.

It’s about time to start implementing accessibility in everything that you do.  

Asher Wren

Why accessibility matters beyond legality 

“Every company should aim to reflect the diversity of their audience in their advertising and communications. But it doesn’t stop there.

All too often, representation feels inauthentic as brands fall back on disability tropes. Or worse, brands talk a good game about accessibility in their advertising, but the retail experience or product itself makes people feel anything but included because the brands’ marketing team isn’t connected to the product team, and vice versa.

Building a brand that truly includes everybody takes work. Hire people with disabilities. Bring people with disabilities into your processes. Make sure that internal teams are connected to ensure that you don’t overpromise and underdeliver, or on the flip side if you do have an amazing accessible product or experience people actually find it.

At the end of the day, with 1.3 billion people around the world, the disability community is the largest of all minority groups. So building products and experiences that include them is not just the right thing to do for them, it’s the right thing to do for your business too.”

– Asher Wren, SVP of Growth

How to improve digital accessibility in your organization 

Aspire to make each and every project accessible by keeping it top of mind.  

Add it to your briefs. Train your teams.

So much accessibility is forgotten simply because teams don’t intentionally put it in their process. At the beginning of your project, make it a focal point and create tasks around it. Make sure your team is aware of the importance of accessibility by providing training and resources. Continuously improve by monitoring your content and design to ensure accessibility and usability. 

Keep it fun & engaging

Accessibility requirements are typically viewed as limitations. We can’t do X or we can’t do Y. Shift your thinking into one of innovation. 

BASIC/DEPT® has outlined five ways to enjoy designing and building for disabilities, from learning and teaching all the way to games and social media exploration. It’s all about “reframing accessibility as a source of possibilities rather than limitations.” 

Leverage emerging tech to make accessibility features explicit in all mediums. 

We are living in a world where technology already exists to help disabled folks. Leverage it. Voice-based virtual assistants like Google Assistant can be helpful for people with limited mobility and visual impairments. Text chat and AI chatbots can be useful for those who are hearing impaired or have anxiety about making calls. 

Understand your audience and their unique needs by bringing them into the design process early and often. 

In the discovery phase of product development, spend time unpacking key information with your audience. Expand the diversity of your users so you can better understand their individual needs. Then, employ co-design methodologies and testing with user cohorts, encourage them to play around with what you’re building early, and consider third-party accessibility auditing and evaluation as needed.

Remember that collaboration, research, testing, and feedback should be ongoing, not a one-time event.

Get familiar with accessibility guidelines today 

Learn about the WCAG (web content accessibility guidelines) and start using them in your work. If you have legacy products, conduct an accessibility audit to understand where you are vs. where you need to be. Alongside an audit, get familiar with how to use a screen reader and test your site each time a new iteration goes live. 

And finally, work as a team. Accessibility efforts are a cross-team discipline and should start early in the project. Accessibility should be prioritized in the roadmap from the beginning (even before project kick-off) and included in each discipline along the way (sales, UX, design, and frontend development). 

Accessibility work

Act now on accessibility

Principal UX Designer

Ferry den Dopper

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