Early December 2015, the European Commission finally released the European Accessibility Act after some years of delay. This piece of legislation – proposal for a directive – is actually one of the key elements that translate into reality the commitment made by the EU when it ratified the Convention of the United Nations on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The proposed directive aims to improve the functioning of the internal market, making it easier for companies to provide accessible products and services across borders.
Common accessibility requirements will also apply in the frame of EU procurement rules and for the use of EU funds. The products and services covered include ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) and banking services, Computers, telephones and TV equipment, telephony and audiovisual services, transport, e-books and e-commerce.
While the legislative work is going to start soon, the European Commission opened a consultation to all relevant stakeholders in order to inform her own position during this process. Considering the high relevance of this proposed legislation for older persons, which are clearly mentioned as a target population, AGE submitted a contribution to highlight its main issues towards this proposal:
- a too narrow scope,
- the need for clearer definition,
- the importance of plain language information for users,
- the key importance of the labelling,
- the delay of transposition of the directive at national level.
- Website of the European Commission on the European Accessibility Act: https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1202&langId=en
- European Disability Forum’s contribution: https://www.edf-feph.org/Page_Generale.asp?DocID=13855&thebloc=34403
- ANEC – the voice of consumers in standardisation: https://www.anec.org/attachments/ANEC-ACCESS-2016-G-002final.pdf