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Fiona Philipp


Inclusive innovation – the Accessibility Reinforcement Act

Starting in mid-2025, standardized legal requirements for accessibility throughout Europe will also become binding for private-sector companies. We have summarized the most important changes in a poster. Find out what challenges await you and how we can support you.

What exactly is the Accessibility Reinforcement Act?

The Accessibility Reinforcement Act (BFSG) demands that certain products and services must be designed, offered, and provided in an accessible manner in future. It transposes the European Accessibility Act (EAA) into national law. This means that accessibility is no longer just an option but an obligation. The 28th of June 2025 marks a turning point at which the uniform Europe-wide legal requirements for accessibility will also become binding for companies in the private sector. This will affect not only large corporations but also smaller companies that offer digital products or services after the introduction of the regulation. From payment and self-service terminals to online shops and banking applications and apps. But what does this actually mean, and why should we start thinking about it now?

What changes are on the horizon?

In over 40 countries, there are already guidelines on accessibility that companies and institutions must comply with by law, and accessibility has long been a legal requirement in public spaces. In Germany, the BFSG requires compliance with the WCAG 2.1 AA criteria. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) are a collection of international standards for the accessible design of web content. These guidelines are based on the four basic principles of perceivability, operability, understandability and technical robustness.

WCAG - an overview

To make it easier for you to familiarise yourself with the guidelines, we have prepared them both visually and content-wise so that it is clear and easy to understand the requirements behind the various principles. This allows you to make an initial comparison of the status quo of your company's offerings in terms of accessibility.

Those who have refused to listen must step up and make improvements

Until now, investment in accessible products and services has tended to be treated as a “nice-to-have” with low priority. Yet accessibility is an investment in the future of society and your own company. Inadequate action by the majority has now led to the BFSG coming into force. The consequences of non-compliance can be far-reaching and range from fines to a ban on the provision of services or a ban on products. Consumers are also putting increasing emphasis on social and ethical commitment. Of course, it is debatable whether laws are needed for this; however, disregarding these expectations can damage a company's image.

The hidden potential

Accessibility ensures that products and applications are accessible to all user groups, regardless of permanent, temporary or situational restrictions. This includes physical, cognitive and audiovisual barriers, for example. In reality, almost one in three Germans is affected by age-related health conditions – a target group that also offers enormous economic potential. In other words:

Jan Barth
„Optimizing content has a positive effect on the experience of all users. Well-designed and easily accessible content increases interaction with your products and services. At the same time, you reach a market that has often been neglected until now, increase conversion rates, and create long-term customer loyalty.”

How we can support you

Methods from user experience design offer a starting point for becoming aware of the status and potential of your products and services. Thanks to many years of experience in developing future-oriented products and systems and the combination of strategy, design and technology, we can identify and define areas of responsibility. Below, we will give you an idea of how we can support you in this task:

  • User research uncovers needs, motivations and concerns. If the group of individuals is expanded accordingly, the concerns of all users can be included and taken into account.
  • Explorative strategy development can be used to analyze processes, identify barriers, and develop, iterate, and validate new ideas and opportunities.
  • Regular UX testing helps to evaluate processes and products, develop them further and implement improvements.
  • When building new design systems, we can focus on accessibility to ensure the future viability of your upcoming applications.

Do you want to develop accessible digital products and services?