3 December 2012 - Today the European Commission released a legislative proposal on the accessibility of public websites. Once adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council, it will allow, by 2015, Europeans with disabilities to have equal access to information on websites and benefit from services provided online.
This legislative proposal addresses public sector bodies’ websites, such as those of municipality services, those for income taxes declaration, job search services, education, health related services, etc. It will contribute to ensuring participation of the citizens with disabilities to critical areas of public services, and information on their rights recognising them as equal citizens with others. Legislation at EU level is much welcome as there is now growing evidence that divergent policy approaches to web accessibility in Member States are fragmenting the digital internal market and creating further obstacles to consumers with disabilities.
Having repeatedly stressed that accessibility is a prerequisite for the full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life, the European Disability Forum (EDF) welcomes the legislative proposal as a first positive step towards the removal of all barriers to access internet products and services in the internal market.