At its plenary meeting on 14 September the European Parliament approved an amended version of the proposed European Accessibility Act, a major piece of legislation meant to improve the accessibility of products and services for older people and people with disabilities.
Together with the European Disability Forum (EDF) and ANEC (the European association representing consumers in standardization), AGE had actively campaigned to extend the scope of the Act.
Members of the Parliament (MEPs) accepted some of the amendments proposed. For example, more products and services will be covered – such as payment terminals, e-book readers, websites and mobile device-based services offered by audiovisual media – as well as the built environment where a service is provided. This includes transport infrastructure, namely underground and rail transport, tramways, trolleybuses, as well as all related services. The text also compels member states to impose accessibility standards on new or regenerated buildings.
However the European Parliament maintains the exclusion of microenterprises from the scope of the accessibility directive, due to their small size and lack of resources, and SMEs have lighter obligation.
Read more on the improvements and shortcomings of the Accessibility Act adopted by MEPs on the website of the European Disability Forum.