DIGITALEUROPE discusses accessibility at the European Parliament Disability Intergroup
On 22 November, Julien Chasserieau, DIGITALEUROPE Policy Officer, delivered a speech at the European Parliament Disability Intergroup’s event “Making the Digital Single Market accessible for persons with disabilities”, recalling the commitment of the digital sector to further improve the accessibility of its products and services.
The digital industry has always been at the forefront of innovations supporting enhanced accessibility of its products and services. An overview of this effort can be seen for instance with the Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI), which lists and helps to compare the accessibility features of devices such as smartphones or TVs.
DIGITALEUROPE, with its over 60 member companies and 40 national associations from all over Europe, is dedicated to ensuring that the EU legal framework supports an environment nurturing the accessibility efforts of ICT companies, from SMEs to larger firms. With the Web Accessibility directive, the Audiovisual Media Service directive, the European Electronic Communications Code and the European Accessibility Act, the Digital Single Market will be more accessible for persons with disabilities. This legal framework on the accessibility of digital services and products will help to improve the lives of millions of people living in Europe. Regarding the Accessibility Act, it was noted that the Commission should swiftly release a standardisation mandate for European harmonised standards to be drafted and implemented by companies in a timely manner. Our members are committed to using this opportunity to further improve the accessibility of their products.
Finally, on behalf of DIGITALEUROPE, Julien Chasserieau thanked the European Parliament Disability Intergroup for the invitation to this event. The Disability Intergroup is one of the oldest intergroups of the European Parliament and it plays a key role in building, within the institution, a network of MEPs to raise awareness about the discriminations that persons with disabilities face and to support and promote a society that ensures their rights. The European Disability Forum (EDF), whether acting as the Intergroup’s secretariat or as an association representing persons with disabilities across Europe, has been carrying important advocacy work to defend the rights of persons with disabilities at the EU level. DIGITALEUROPE has been in close contact with EDF for several years and we believe that our exchanges have been fruitful as we share a common goal towards a more accessible Digital Single Market.