Accessibility – BFSG & EAA The importance of accessibility in the digital space

In an increasingly digitalized world, the issue of accessibility is becoming more and more important. The Barrierefreiheitsstärkungsgesetz (BFSG) in Germany and the European Accessibility Act (EAA) of the European Union are two key pieces of legislation that aim to make digital services, including websites and online stores, more accessible for all user groups. Below is an overview of both laws, their requirements and implications for website and online store operators.

Accessibility Strengthening Act (BFSG)

With the increase in internet usage and the growth of e-commerce, it is crucial that digital services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities. Accessibility is not only a question of social responsibility, but increasingly also a legal requirement.

The BFSG aims to improve access to digital services for people with disabilities in Germany. It applies to a wide range of digital products and services, including websites and online stores.

Requirements for websites & online stores

Under the BFSG, websites and online stores must be desgined in an accessible way, in order to be used by people who suffer from various disabilities. This includes adaptations for the visually and hearing impaired as well as for people with motor or cognitive impairments.

The European Accessibility Act (EAA)

The EAA is a European Union law that aims to harmonize the accessibility of products and services in all member states. This is intended to ensure that people with disabilities and older people have better access to a wide range of services.

Scope of application and significance for website operators

The EAA has far-reaching implications for website and online store operators in the EU. It ensures that digital services, including e-commerce, are accessible to all users and contributes to the creation of a single market for accessible products and services.

Technical standards and guidelines

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are of central importance for the implementation of accessibility. These internationally recognized guidelines offer specific recommendations for the design of accessible web content.

Best practices for accessibility

Best practices include providing text alternatives for visual content, ensuring keyboard navigation, using easy-to-understand language and integrating accessible payment systems in online stores.

Advantages of an accessible website

In addition to complying with legal requirements, an accessible website offers many other benefits. These include an improved user experience, an expansion of the customer base and potentially better search engine rankings.

Continuous monitoring and adjustment

Accessibility is a dynamic process that requires continuous monitoring and adaptation. Regular audits and feedback from users with disabilities are crucial for success.

Training and awareness-raising

It is important that developers, designers and content managers are trained to understand and implement the principles of accessibility. Raising awareness within the company is also crucial.

Closing words

The Barrierefreiheitsstärkungsgesetz and the European Accessibility Act are more than just legal requirements – they are a step towards a more inclusive society. By implementing these requirements, website and online store operators can not only fulfill their legal obligations, but also make a positive contribution to social inclusion. In an increasingly digital world, accessibility is not an optional luxury, but a fundamental necessity.