As a starter, I like to ask my audience whom of them is affected by digital barriers. Bad eyesight? Dyslexia? Red-green-blindness? But this is just a fraction of conditions that affect the usage of the internet.
Microsoft barrier matrix
There are different areas of perception where restrictions may occur. Vision, touch, hearing, and speak. And there are gradients within as there may be chronic limitations, temporary, often caused by sickness or injury, or situations that create the same sort of problem. There is a nice graphic in the Inklusion 101 Guidebook.
When I ask again who is affected, I expect everybody to respond. Everyone might be affected at anytime through any kind of barrier. Some much more frequent and more severe than others.
Accessibility is here to make everyones live easier, make independence possible and in some cases create access where there was none before.
There is a barrier whenever information or function can not be perceived, operated, understandable, or is not robust. Those are the WCAG chapters by the way. More on them on a later post.
In the sense of equality, access to digital content for everyone should be a right. That’s where, 2017, the European Accessibility Act came into place, to obligate companies to Accessibility.
European Accessibility Act
The guidelines from 2017 in the European Accessibility Act declare the WCAG 2.2 as a standard. Beginning in July 2025 you have the right for accessible digital content and are allowed and invited to call for it.
Excluded from this duty are small companies (less than 10 employees and less than 2 million in yearly turnover (this was hard to translate, please look it up, when in doubt)). They would profit as well by building their applications accessible.
Obligations and possibilities
Therefore for many companies, accessibilities become an obligation, for everyone else it’s a great possibility to include so many potential users and gain an advantage. In the end, accessible applications can make life easier for every user.