The Plenary approves better accessibility requirements for products and services in the EU

Credit: TioLoco (Getty)

In 2020, approximately 80 million Europeans will have multiple or minor disabilities according to Eurostat and as a response to it, the Plenary voted today in favour of the European Accessibility Act.

The new Directive will introduce minimum accessibility requirements for a list of day-to-day products and services. All Member States have to translate the content of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities into concrete measures at national level. Only action at the EU level can ensure a coherent EU-wide transposition, preventing new internal market fragmentation and creating a harmonised legal framework that will allow the free flow of accessible products and services.

Among the key points proposed, are:

  • It will be easier for authorities to make public procurements accessible to people with disabilities.
  • 112 will be accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Banking, telephony and TV services will be more accessible as well as computers, phones, e-books, ATMs and payment terminals.
  • Better accessibility to all transport systems.

MEP Morten Løkkegaard, rapporteur on this file said:

“I am very proud, since the Act is a historic breakthrough for people with disabilities in Europe. For three decades, millions of citizens have been waiting for this to happen. It is not perfect, but an important first step. Now it begins the hard work with the implementation of the directive. the next step will be to further improve the conditions”.

Other persons who experience functional limitations, such as elderly persons and pregnant women will also benefit from this Directive.

More info: david.vidal@europarl.europa.eu