Accessibility Act - the time to act is now!

Accessibility Act - the time to act is now!

The procedure towards the adoption of the European Accessibility Act, the proposal for a law that can potentially improve the accessibility of products and services sold in the EU, is entering a crucial stage in the European Parliament.
EDF (European Disability Forum) is working hard to make sure this proposal is adopted with an ambitious, meaningful, and progressive content but things are very difficult: we are fighting against powerful industry players and Member States that are hesitant to introduce any additional rules in times of EU skepticism.
In the European Parliament, there is a range of political views - from those who clearly focus on industry, and who believe that accessibility is an expensive “burden”, to those politicians who will fight passionately for a strong Accessibility Act.

Unfortunately, the responsible Member of Parliament wrote a disappointing report which falls under the first category. We need to get information to our allies in the Parliament now to make sure the Parliament brings to this process what is should bring: the voice of Europeans who should benefit from the single market and the correct approach to implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
You can help us and explain to the politicians why the Accessibility Act is important:

  • What use is an accessible ATM if there are stairs at the entrance of the bank building?
  • What use is your right to travel as a passenger if you cannot even buy a ticket because the ticketing machine and the website are not accessible, not even to speak about the bus or train itself?
  • What use is a law where a large part of the companies are excluded from the obligations or do not have to show proof that they are making their products accessible?
  • What is the point of having accessibility requirements if they are too vague, so that e.g. only a slight increase of font size would be deemed enough to make “better use” of a person’s vision but not actually improve accessibility?

Send EDF’s suggestions for amendments to the draft report to your Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and explain to him/her why it is important for persons with disabilities to support those changes. You can find the core arguments in this summary document. You can also use this model letter to translate it in your own language.
To find the contact details of MEPs from your country you can click on the website of the European Parliament, click on the map or use the search function by country, and find the e-mail address and phone number on the right hand side of the profile.
Make sure you send this message to the MEPs before 8 February 2017, the official deadline to make amendments for the text.
If you need more guidance, feel free to contact the EDF secretariat for help:


Source: The EDF secretariat