Time to act for the European Accessibility Act

15 September 2020

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) sets new European Union (EU) wide minimum accessibility requirements for a range of products and services and aims to strengthen the right of persons with disabilities to access goods and services available in the EU internal market. It is a result of decades-long advocacy by the European disability community and has been one of the most important EU laws for advancing accessibility in Europe.

The Act can still be strengthened throughout national adoption by 28 June 2022. To ensure that national laws based on the Act are stronger, organisations of persons with disabilities should reach out to their governments and get involved in the committees responsible for the adoption of the Act.

Today we launch the toolkit for transposition for the EEA to help EDF members and other disability advocates to push for strong national rules to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to and choice of products and services in the EU.

On 30 September we will hold a webinar to present the main recommendations of the toolkit, which include advocating for:

  • Shortening deadlines for implementation when feasible, and especially related to aspects which are critical for persons with disabilities such as accessibility of communication by emergency services

  • Extending the scope of the Act by proposing new products and services, such as smart household appliances, tourism services, which can use of the same accessibility requirements proposed by the Act

  • Making use of existing standards for accessibility of digital products and services, built environment, and design for all approach to accessibility, and when the harmonized standards and technical specifications of the Act are adopted, applying them

  • Meaningful participation of organisations of persons with disabilities in the process of national adoption and enforcement of the Act, with close cooperation with national regulatory authorities.

Reference documents:

 

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