#access4all Campaign raised awareness of standarization in support of accessibility

On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, CEN/CENELEC, ISO and IEC, ETSI and many other standardization bodies around the world put the spotlight on how standards support accessibility through the#access4all campaign. AGE welcomed and participated in this initiative which took place from 1st to 5h December and helped explain how standards can improve accessibility for older people and people with disabilities.

To mark the week, CEN-CENELEC also published the Guide 6 to address accessibility in standards. The Guide, identical to the recently adopted ISO/IEC Guide 71, targets standards developers, designers, manufacturers, service providers, service users and policy makers. It sets out a methodology for considering accessibility and integrating relevant requirements during the development and revision of standards for a wide variety of products, services and environments. Among other issues, it presents a summary of the relevant terminology, issues to consider in support of accessibility in the standards development process, a set of goals to identify user needs.

On 4 December, Monica Ibido, CEN and CENELEC Programme Manager, also participated in AGE Platform Europe Annual Conference 2014 'Towards an EU Strategy on Demographic Change' as speaker to provide an overview on CEN CENELEC work to promote accessibility and age-friendly environments. During the debate, Mrs Ibido enphasised CEN CENELEC's commitment to facilitate the participation of stakeholders' representing older people to the standardization work.

The importance of standardisation for accessibility was finally raised by Mrs Ima Placencia Porrero, Deputy Head of Unit for Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Directorate General Employment (DG EMPL) during the European Day of Persons with Disabilities Conference 2014. Mrs Placencia Porrero emphasised the obligation of the States Parties of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities to take appropriate measures to implement minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of goods and services. She also highlighted the current EU initiatives to mainstream accessibility through the EU standardisation system:

  • M/376 in support of European accessibility requirements for public procurement of products and services in the ICT domain;
  • M/420 in support of European accessibility requirements for public procurement in the built environment; 
  • M/473 to include 'Design for All' in relevant standardization initiatives.

For more information, please visit CEN CENELEC articles to mark the #access4all week:www.cencenelec.eu/NEWS/BRIEF_NEWS/Pages/default.aspx or contact Alice Sinigaglia,alice.sinigaglia@age-platform.eu

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