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What is EN 301 549? EU Web Accessibility Standards Explained

EU Flag with letters reading EN 301 549 on light blue background

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Technology is an important resource, and its use grows every day. It’s part of our home and professional life and everyone deserves to use it regardless of their disability. The European Union recently implemented requirements to implement EN 301 549, a web accessibility standard aimed at making the web more accessible to users with disabilities.

EN 301 549 is a standard that contains information for digital accessibility for all information and communication technology and adopted many aspects that are accepted internationally. It doesn’t just cover the computers, but all digital products from cell phones to ATMs, software, and content on the web.

We’ll examine these standards and how they impact businesses.

Web Accessibility: What Is it?

There is legislation in place to provides provisions for people with disabilities for physical needs such as ramps and automatic doors for new buildings, streets, etc. The goal was to provide access to people with disabilities and include provisions to provide help by creating accommodations for people with disabilities so they can more easily do their jobs and provide access to businesses.

Digital accessibility is similar, but it covers electronics and online items. It allows people with disabilities to use devices and software despite any issues they may have. For example, people with visual impairment can have screen readers that read the text and describe pictures.

EN 301 549 Requirements

EN 301 549 is a digital accessibility standard in the European Union that incorporates the W3C web content accessibility attributes. For web content, all public websites created on or after September 23, 2019, must comply with the standards and all existing websites must comply by that time as well.

Mobile apps need to comply by June 23, 2021. Anyone in violation of these regulations can be open to web accessibility lawsuits. EN 301 549 covers biometrics as well to allows people with disabilities to access information using scanning and reading biological information.

Websites must be perceivable, robust, operable, and understandable by people with disabilities to provide EU accessibility. This includes text alternatives such as braille and speech, easier for people to see or hear information that separates the foreground from the background.

Websites should all be usable from a keyboard, give people time to review content, and do not create your website in a way that may cause seizures.

Issues with Noncompliance of Web Accessibility Standards

Many businesses worry about Europe accessibility requirements with EN 301 549 since like many pieces of legislation it doesn’t go in-depth into the measures needed.

If there are any challenges that keep people with disabilities from accessing communication and online technology, then you could violate the standards. If you have concerns about your application of web accessibility standards, then contact a web accessibility specialist or a law firm that specializes in web accessibility.

Ensure Your Website and Software Maintains EN 301 549 Compliance

People with disabilities have the right to use communications and digital technology regardless of their issues. EN 301 549 makes sure websites and other electronic technology take this into account.

If aspects of your website are not in compliance with EN 301 549 or you have questions about web accessibility standards, then please contact us today.


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