European Accessibility Act: where do we stand?

EU Accessibility ActEnd 2015 the European Commission proposed a Directive to improve the functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services by removing barriers created by divergent legislation. This will facilitate the work of companies while bringing benefits for older people and people with disabilities in the European Union.

From the start, AGE has decided to work on this dossier in close collaboration with the European Disability Forum (EDF) and ANEC (the European association representing consumers in standardization). Currently, we focus our effort on the European Parliament in order to ensure that it will support a strong and ambitious text. The three organisations are concerned about the debates going on in the European Parliament, as stated in a joint letter published early February.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has organized a two-day workshop dedicated to accessibility. This event offered a great opportunity to better learn and understand about accessibility not only from a technical point but also from a legal and political perspective. Representatives from the United States came to explain their experience in relation to the implementation of their own legislation and the shortcomings they are observing. On this matter, the US legislation is clearly an example and has notably greatly help to shape the accessibility of the new technologies (ICTs) considering the big companies based in this country which have to fulfill the legislative requirements.

In her statement, Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of AGE, has clearly expressed the need for such a legislation at EU level in response tothe challenge of demographic ageing by supporting independent living and shaping a society for all ages. 

For more information, please visit the website of the European Commission on the European Accessibility Act, or contact Julia Wadoux, Policy and Project Coordinator for Health, New Technologies and Accessibility, Julia.wadoux@age-platform.eu

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