More accessibility in the digital space

Laptoptastatur mit einer

On July 28, 2025, the Barrier-Free Accessibility Strengthening Act (BFSG) will come into force in Europe, making accessibility mandatory for all future web applications and digital services. The goal is to enable all people to participate in digitization without distinction – regardless of their prerequisites. This begins with the usability of the hardware and extends to easy-to-understand user interfaces and usability by people with motor, visual or acoustic impairments.

The concept of accessibility is not new. Other areas of life are also affected by it: from public transportation to the accessibility of important information to the general walkability of buildings and other structures.

However, accessibility is much easier to implement in digital space than in public infrastructure. The hurdles are lower here because much less material has to be moved than, for example, in road or house construction. Nevertheless, a careful analysis of requirements is also needed here to ensure that the desired improvements do not miss the actual needs.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which were developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and which are binding guidelines, offer orientation.

Hardware without barriers

In the digital realm, accessibility also starts with the hardware: keyboards with Braille or screen readers are just as common today as mouth mice or screens where the user interface of software can be controlled with the eyes.

To ensure that such hardware can do its job properly, it needs an intelligent software equivalent. Only when hardware and software communicate optimally can we achieve accessibility. In this context, Micromata’s current focus is on the needs of blind people and people with reduced vision.

Zeichung einer weiblichen Person mit Blindenbrille vor ihrem Laptop. rechts daneben Symbole für die verschiedenen Themen der Barrierefreiheit: ein Auge, eine Lupe, ein Ohr, ein Lautsprecher, eine Farbpipette, ein Lesezeichen, verschieden große Buchstaben.
Scribble eines menschlichen Ohrs

Understanding special needs

„In order to properly understand the needs of visually impaired people, we contacted the Marburg Institute for the Study of the Blind“ says Julia Janas, project manager in the area of logistics software, „and here, in the Blista, we found a partner who provides us with excellent technical support and can tell us firsthand what is important.“ Formats of cooperation with Blista experts are collaborative workshops and software tests. The common goal is to think beyond the minimum standard and offer visually impaired people just as positive a user experience as people with normal vision. After all, using software should not be an annoying, unavoidable evil for them either, but an all-around good experience.

Retrofitting existing software

Although the Accessibility Act only takes effect for applications that go online after July 28, 2025, disability-friendly redesign is generally recommended for every web application – even those that are already online today.

„Digital services are now the most important showcase for almost all companies, making them more business-critical than ever“ says Julia. „Those who invest in the accessibility of their online offerings are not only investing in the quality of life of impaired people, but also in the reputation of their own brand and thus in their own future viability in the market.“

Scribble für passgenaue Software: ein Laptop, ein Lineal, ein Stift. Im Hintergrund zwei abstrakte Grafiken als Sinnbilder für Verbesserung.

Accessibility is therefore a question of user-friendliness and thus also a topic of user experience design. If you want to learn more about UX, you’ll find it here:

Julia Janas

Julia Janas

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