The European Accessibility Act aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services by removing barriers created by divergent legislation. This will facilitate the work of companies and will bring benefits for persons with disabilities and elderly people in the EU.
Businesses will benefit from:
- common rules on accessibility in the EU leading to costs reduction
- easier cross-border trading
- more market opportunities for their accessible products and services
Persons with disabilities and elderly people will benefit from:
- more accessible products and services in the market
- accessible products and services at more competitive prices
- fewer barriers when accessing education and the open labour market
- more jobs available where accessibility expertise is needed
The European Accessibility Act covers the products and services listed below that have been identified as having the highest risk of being concerned with diverging accessibility requirements across the EU countries.
Moreover, these were seen as the most relevant after consulting stakeholders and experts on accessibility and taking into account the obligations deriving from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
- computers and operating systems
- ATMs, ticketing and check-in machines
- TV equipment related to digital television services
- telephony services and related equipment
- audiovisual media services such as television broadcast and related consumer equipment
- services related to air, bus, rail and waterborne passenger transport
- banking services
The European Parliament and the Council came to a provisional agreement on the Commission's proposal for a European Accessibility Act on 8 November 2018. Final adoption by EP is expected by April 2019.
Read more about this topic in the European Accessibility Act brochure. For further information, please consult the preparatory work of this initiative, including the Impact Assessment Report, its Executive Summary and its Annexes and the results of stakeholders' consultations, such as a general public consultation, a targeted one with SMEs and a Eurobarometer (Ref. 345).
The Impact Assessment Report is supported by studies addressing the EU legislative situation on accessibility and the market impact analysis for the relevant products and services.