New accessibility requirements
In the future, accessibility requirements will also be applied to central products used by consumers, such as smartphones and computer hardware systems. The requirements will also be applied to electronic communications services, such as telephone and text message services, as well as to services providing access to audiovisual content services, such as electronic programme guides. The requirements will also cover transport products, such as travel ticket dispensers and check-in machines, and transport services.
The primary aim of the accessibility requirements for products and services is to promote the equal opportunities of persons with disabilities to participate in society. The regulation also benefits others, such as older persons, as the accessibility and usability of products and electronic services is improved.
The rights of persons with disabilities are laid down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Regulation based on the European Accessibility Act promotes the implementation of the convention. Here, accessibility refers to having access to digital services. Digital services include websites, mobile applications and related functionalities.
The Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland already supervises the accessibility of public sector digital services in all of Finland, such as the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of government agencies. From now on, the Agency will also supervise the digital services provided to consumers by private operators. The new accessibility requirements complement prior accessibility requirements. Read more about accessibility (External link).
What products and services does the directive cover?
The accessibility requirements apply to both public and private operators when they provide consumers with products or services that fall within the scope of accessibility legislation.
Application to microenterprises
The requirements for products are also applied to so-called microenterprises. However, microenterprises are subject to a number of allowances in the regulation. A microenterprise is an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 persons and which has an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 2 million or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 2 million.
The accessibility requirements for services are not applied to microenterprises. Although the requirements are not applied to microenterprises, microenterprises are also encouraged to provide their services in compliance with the accessibility requirements.
Products within the scope of application and the relevant requirements
Services within the scope of application and the relevant requirements
Entry into force and transition periods
See the accessibility regulations here (External link)