Brussels, 17 June 2011
Launch of joint campaign for web accessibility in the EU
Inaccessible Websites : Time to Act !
Let’s make inaccessible websites a thing of the past. By 2020 they should be stored in museums like old cars in the AutoWorld, said Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of AGE, speaking at the Digital Agenda Assembly.
On the occasion of the EU Digital Assembly on 16-17 June 2011, AGE Platform Europe, the European European Organisation representing Consumers in Standardisation (ANEC), European Blind Union (EBU) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) are launching a joint campaign for accessible websites.
In our increasingly digitized world, more and more information and services are only accessible online, which makes the access to internet now an essential factor of independence and inclusion. Yet, with 95% of the public websites currently not accessible, older and disabled consumers are facing great difficulties in accessing public services and basic services provided online in many areas such as education, health, social protection, employment, transport, banking, housing and so on. This digital divide will increase in the future and will lead to unacceptable discrimination, unless concrete action is taken.
It is time to act!
Four key European organisations have come together to launch a campaign calling the European Commission to initiate a binding legislation that delivers web accessibility for all by 2015.
In the past, the European institutions have repeatedly promised to make public websites accessible to persons with disabilities but this has not been fulfilled. The Digital Agenda for Europe, one of the flagships of the Europe 2020 Strategy, renew this commitment and announces that the European Commission will “based on a review of options, make proposals by 2011 that will make sure that public sector websites (and websites providing basic services to citizens) are fully accessible by 2015”.
AGE Platform Europe, ANEC, EBU and EDF welcome this decision, but think that concrete measures have now to be taken to effectively make the Digital Agenda a reality for all. They are therefore calling on the European Commission to propose binding EU legislation to ensure that public sector websites and websites delivering basic services to citizens are made accessible to all by no later than 2015.
We are urgently calling for:
– The European Commission to review our proposal for a legal act on accessible websites.
– The European Commission to propose binding EU legislation to ensure that public websites and websites delivering basic services of public interest are made accessible as soon as possible.
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