Accessibility Requirements

A brief introduction to accessibility requirements.


The European Accessibility Act (EAA)

Scribe’s role is to focus on the editing and production of books rather than providing a final determination in interpreting the law.

The EAA involves significantly more than simply the distribution of books. As with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a general understanding of the law surrounding the development of publications should be considered.

The links provided in the References section of this page aim to provide some guidance on how best to interpret the current laws for the development and distribution of publications in Europe and the United States.

The standards for the EAA focus on building an accessible e-book, requiring specific features (e.g., alt text). Given the development of the Well-Formed Document Workflow (WFDW) and its output capacity, the difference between an EAA-compliant and non-EAA-compliant book developed through the WFDW is minimal.

The UK

The UK decided to maintain the requirements for accessibility in coordination with the EU. Thus, the EAA requirements will be part of independent UK requirements starting in June 2025.

Website Compliance

In the EU, all publications, including websites, will need to comply with the EAA. While the EU cannot enforce laws in other countries, Scribe recommends following best practices in producing accessible content in all environments. Scribe’s mission includes the promotion of the idea that all published material should be as accessible as possible.

Backlist Titles and Distribution before 2025

Books put into distribution prior to the start of the EAA are grandfathered in.

However, there are practical considerations that complicate this. A number of distributors, due to lead times, the inability to adjust for various publications, and other factors, require EAA-compliant books earlier than the date on which the law goes into effect. A book would no longer be grandfathered in if it is redistributed or the distributor changes.