EU Parliament approves the European Accessibility Act
14 March 2019 // On March 13 the European Parliament has approved the European Accessibility Act, which marks a good step towards the creation of a EU legislation focused on how to make products and services accessible for people with disabilities.
Thanks to the Act, people with disabilities across the EU will finally be able to use products and services that used to not be easily accessible for them. Among these there are computers, smartphones, tablets, TV sets, banking ATM and services, payment terminals, e-books and e-readers, e-commerce websites and mobile apps and ticketing machines.
Although the European Accessibility Act is remarkable success, we agree with the European Disability Forum statement, which considers it only a first step towards the creation of an inclusive, rights-based EU legislation on accessibility. Before its approval, there was no real legislation on this matter in the EU, but the Act still excludes many important aspects of daily life, like accessibility of buildings, public transportation and other important electronic devices such as home appliances. As the EDF highlighted, “we need legislation that ensures equal access in all areas of life. “
We’re now looking forward for the Act to receive the formal approval of the Council of the EU and to be published on the EU’s Official Journal; after that it can be translated into national legislation by Member States. The first step is done, but there’s still a long way to go. Now it’s time to push the rights of people with disabilities forward!