Communication "Towards an accessible information society"
on 1st December 2008 the European Commission adopted the Communication "Towards an accessible information society".
On 31 March 2009 the Council of the European Union adopted its conclusions on the Communication .
The Communication makes suggestions for improving both web accessibility in particular and e-accessibility in general, notably to:
Pursue and make full use of instruments at European level - notably standardisation efforts, financial support for research and deployment of technology solutions in favour of people with disabilities and for elderly persons, and the possibilities of current and proposed legislation.
Reinforce cooperation with Member States and other stakeholders towards a common European approach for e-accessibility, including through a new EU high-level e-accessibility expert group to provide strategic guidance.
This Communication is accompanied by two other Commission documents: a staff working paper on e-accessibility, and a report from the online public consultation on the same topic. The Communication also builds on two independent studies (see below) on the situation of e-accessibility in Europe, conducted for the Commission.
Read the Communication in all Community languages.
A study has been carried out on "Accessibility to ICT products and services by disabled and elderly people" from February to October 2008.
The study team has issued two main reports:
- Evidence-based analysis for a possible coordinated European approach to web accessibility: this report analyses the evidence based of relevance to a possible introduction of EU-level measures on web accessibility and explores some implementation options. It also examines the various dimensions of the web accessibility challenge, including issues from the perspectives of users, web owners, support industries, Member States and the European Union as a whole. Then it presents the rationale for and possible elements of a co-ordinated European approach to web accessibility.
- Towards a framework for further development of EU legislation or other coordination measures on e-accessibility: this report examines what legislative or other options could be considered at EU-level in order to better support the achievement of a more effective, coordinated and complete approach to e-accessibility across the Member States.