In this Real Economy Crash Course we take a look at the European Accessibility Act . It seeks to ensure more products and services like smartphones, tablets, ATMs or e-books are accessible to people with disabilities.
A fundamental right
Accessibility is key to other fundamental rights such as entry to the workplace, education, public services, leisure. People with disabilities should be able to access all of the above on an equal basis.
There are currently 120 million Europeans with some form of disability. That high figure is partly due to the rising number of elderly people in the overall population.
Until recently EU member states have had their own divergent legislation.
A big step forward
The European Accessibility Act - an EU Directive - aims to improve the functioning of Europe's internal market for accessible products and services while removing barriers created by different national rules.
What does the act cover:
- Smartphones, tablets and computers
- Ticketing machines
- Televisions and TV programmes
- Banking and ATMs
- Online shopping websites and mobile apps
Member States have until 2022 to implement the Directive, so it becomes part of their respective national legislation.