02 Feb 2016

DIGITALEUROPE’s Comments on the Proposal for a European Accessibility Act

DIGITALEUROPE’s Comments on the Proposal for a European Accessibility Act

Member companies of DIGITALEUROPE agree with Commissioner Thyssen’s statement that “disability should not be a barrier to full participation in society”, and share with the European Commission the view that innovation on accessible products and services is key to social and economic inclusion. As a matter of fact, digital technologies have enabled wider participation in work, social and leisure activities. Everything from home working and online shopping to social media hasimproved engagement and provided new opportunities for these consumers.

The ICT industry has had a leading role in developing and implementing accessible solutions. In an effort to improve the understanding of accessibility needs and further accessibility solutions, DIGITALEUROPE members cooperate with a number of different stakeholders and umbrella organisations. So far intense competition, industry-led self-regulatory initiatives, self-commitments and voluntary standardisation activities have led to the rapid spread and improvement of accessibility features.

DIGITALEUROPE supports the development of a coherent global market for accessible products and services, and we believe the most effective way to realize this is through the development and adoption of international convergent solutions. This includes consistency with other large markets, such as the United States. Moreover, our members consider that functionality and technological neutrality should be the principles for drafting a future-proof regulation.

We are glad to be given the opportunity to comment on the European Commission’s draft proposal, and we wish to contribute further to the process in order to clarify the implication of the provisions for economic operators. The following comments cover some of the broad areas of our concerns.

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