Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Accessibility standardisation

Common European accessibility standards help remove barriers for people with disabilities and others (e.g. the elderly). When applied across Member States, these standards also improve the functioning of the internal market, by removing barriers to free movement of goods and services.

Actions

The Commission has instructed European standards organisations, which include CEN, CENELEC and ETSI, to develop and implement accessibility standards. These include standards for

Key EU legislative instruments (the directive on web accessibility, the European accessibility act, the public procurement directives) refer to the possible use of accessibility standards. The Commission encourages the participation of all relevant stakeholders in these processes, including persons with disabilities.

The EU also works together with other key players in the field of accessibility standardisation to support accessibility at the international level.

Background

Accessibility to the built environment, Information and Communication (notably ICT), and transport is required by article 9 of the UN convention on persons with disabilities.

The European disability strategy 2010-2020 and the digital single market strategy contain actions to foster accessibility standardisation.  The development of specific accessibility standards is included in the European Commission standardisation plan and the annual rolling ICT standardisation plan.

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