In early June, the European Accessibility Act (EAA) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. EU Member States shall now adopt and publish, by 28 June 2022, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive.
Adopted in March after a long negociation process, this Directive is a significant achievement for AGE Platform Europe and all partner organisations who have been advocating for it, in particular our strong allies: the European Disability Forum and ANEC, the voice of Consumers in standardization.
In terms of content, the EAA covers:
- Computers, tablets, laptops, and their operating systems
- Payment terminals and consumers banking services
- Self-service terminals such as ATMs (Automated Teller Machines), ticketing machines, check-in machines
- Smartphones and telephony services
- Smart TVs and audio-visual media services
- E-readers and e-Books
- Passenger transport services (except urban, suburban and regional services): Websites, Mobile applications, Electronic ticketing, Real-time travel information, Interactive self-services terminals except those installed as integrated parts of vehicles
- Emergency communication with the single European emergency number 112.
One of the great achievements of the Act is also that it obliges public authorities to respect the accessibility requirements when purchasing products or services covered by this Directive. But it should also be underlined that the EAA fails to cover services in the areas of health care, education, transport, housing. Household appliances are also left out of the Act and for the built environment related to the services covered by the Act, it is up to the Member States to decide how accessible they should be.
The monitoring of the implementation of the European Accessibility Act at national level will now be a key step to make sure that what has been agreed at EU level will become a reality for EU citizens.
- AGE work on payment terminals and banking services: https://www.age-platform.eu/publications/final-report-erpb-informal-working-group-accessibility
- To access the full text of the EAA in every EU languages: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.151.01.0070.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:151:TOC
- Full analysis of the EAA by the European Disability Forum: https://www.edf-feph.org/newsroom/news/our-analysis-european-accessibility-act
For more information on AGE work on accessibility, please contact Julia Wadoux, firstname.lastname@example.org