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Action 67: Member States to implement provisions on disability

Implement by 2011 the provisions on disability in the Telecoms Framework and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive

What is the problem ? People with disabilities face various problems accessing the web, emergency numbers and digital TV

Accessibility and usability can be serious problems for Europeans with disabilities.

It prevents them to fully participate in the information society. Beyond web accessibility, accessibility of electronic communications (notably the 112 emergency number) and audiovisual services (notably digital TV) is particularly relevant.

Why is EU Action required ? Preventing a digital divide

Improving ICT accessibility will help members of disadvantaged social groups to participate on an equal footing in the digital society and to have equal opportunities in terms of social interaction, employability, daily life and protection in case of emergencies.

What will the Commission do ?

The EU legislation on electronic communications and audiovisual media (Telecoms Framework and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive –AVMS-) already stipulates equal rights for persons with disabilities when it comes to access and quality.

The first contains provisions for persons with disabilities, regarding equipments, access to networks and services, information and participation. Under the AVMS Directive, Member States are obliged to encourage media service providers to make their services accessible to people with a visual or hearing disability.

Member States need to implement these provisions in their national law. .

The Commission will make sure that the Member States transpose the legislation in time and implement it.

In 2011, the following main actions are envisaged:

Action-specific points:

  • By 25 May 2011 member states have to transpose the reformed telecoms package into their national law. The Commission will closely monitor and support this transposition.
  • The Commission will closely monitor and support the implementation of the AVMS Directive.and will submit before 19 December 2011 a report on its application. If necessary, it will make further proposals to adapt it to developments in the field of audiovisual media services, in particular in the light of recent technological developments, the competitiveness of the sector and levels of media literacy in all Member States.
  • The Commission will continue to benchmark e-accessibility.

Cross-cutting points (relevant to all disability-related actions):

  • Possible organisation of an event on "disability and the Digital Agenda".

In 2012, the following actions may be needed:

  • Possible mandate for European standardisation organisations on emergency services and digital TV
  • Possible large scale deployment of activities for accessible emergency services in some MS.

 

Contact:

paul.timmers@ec.europa.eu