The focus of this edition of U-Talk is mobility and access issues for disabled people in the EU. Sophie in Paris asks: “France recently announced the postponement of its law on accessibility for all in public places, housing and transport. How does the EU contribute to make life easier for people with disabilities?”
Stig Langvad, Executive member of the European Disability Forum responds: “Over the last 15-20 years, I can see that the European Union has been the key driver of changes for persons with disabilities.
“They’ve made regulations in almost all areas concerning transport; they’ve made significant changes when we look upon the non discrimination at the workplace; they’re (now) working to make sure that public websites are becoming accessible and usable for persons with disabilities”
“(These are) things that member states would not have been doing anything about, if the European Commission and the European Parliament had not put pressure on them, probably because member states have the perception that it is expensive to live up to the needs of persons with disabilities, which is not correct:
“Everytime you make sure that persons with disabilities are able to cope by themselves, you don’t have to provide assistance. The European Union can do even more: they could start focusing much more on standardisation to make sure that everytime you adapt, renovate, buy new equipment then it is accessible for persons with disabilities.”
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