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european accessibility act

Checklist: are you compliant with the European Accessibility Act? 

european accessibility act
Much has already been written about ways to make websites and apps accessible for everyone. But how do you ensure that documents you share with customers are understandable for people with disabilities? In this blog, we offer a comprehensive checklist to meet the requirements for digital accessibility. 

Nowadays, technology influences almost every aspect of our daily lives. Therefore, it is essential that websites, apps, and other digital communication tools are accessible to everyone. Digital accessibility ensures that all users, regardless of their physical or mental disabilities, can fully participate in our digital society. Specifically, this means that websites should be readable by a screen reader (for the blind and visually impaired) and easily navigable (for people who have difficulty using their arms).  

What is the European Accessibility Act again?  

Most businesses and government organizations strive to make their communication as inclusive as possible, so everyone can use their services—regardless of physical or mental disabilities. Organizations that are still lagging in accessibility will need to catch up: on June 28, 2025, the European Accessibility Act will go into effect, making digital accessibility mandatory.

Many companies are working to remove digital obstacles on their websites and in their applications. However, the new law also targets documents shared with customers—which is less familiar territory. Think of PDFs containing user instructions, bank statements, or customer terms and conditions. 

Digital accessibility: a checklist 

As we explained in a previous article, the European Accessibility Act does not contain any specific rules that documents must adhere to. The text does refer to the EN 301 549 standard of the Accessible ICT Procurement Toolkit—which in turn references the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), version 2.1. This is the industry standard for accessible websites. In combination with our expertise in document management, we have used the WCAG to compile a checklist for you. Digital documents must meet these criteria to be accessible to everyone:

In combination with our expertise in document management, we have used the WCAG to compile a checklist for you. Digital documents must meet these criteria to be accessible to everyone: 

  • Use sufficiently contrasting colors for the text and background.  
  • Use a clear, easily readable font and an appropriate font size. 
  • Properly process the title and language of the document in the metadata. This ensures that users of screen reading software know what the document is about, and that the software can apply the correct language. 
  • Use a logical structure and check that elements such as headings, lists, and tables are clearly labeled in the source file. 
  • Describe images and graphs with Alt text, so that screen reader users understand what they are about. 
  • Label fields in tables and forms, so that the content is clear when using a screen reader. 
  • Make navigating the document easy by using links, bookmarks, and a table of contents. 

Automated Output Accessibility Add-on 

Now you know what your documents should look like. But we can already hear you asking: how do I quickly and flawlessly modify the enormous number of documents we share with customers, so we are compliant with these new requirements?  

The Automated Output Accessibility add-on from OpenText Output Server is your friend. Documents are made accessible by identifying tables, sections, fields and images, inserting alternative text, and applying appropriate tags. In this way, assistive technologies can navigate and read your documents—and the digital world becomes accessible to everyone! 

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