In the lead up to the European elections, Aspire is gathering momentum and seeking commitment from MEPs and candidates to support the European Accessibility Act.
You can read our full policy document on the issue here LINK
Accessible products empower disabled people to live independently. At the moment, disabled people are cut off from even accessing basic goods and services. For example, more government services such as renewing vehicle excise duty and welfare benefits claims are moving online. It is important that disabled people are able to access these services independently and that technology used empowers them to be independent.
The European Disability Strategy, adopted in November 2010, centres on Accessibility and has a goal to make goods and services accessible to disabled people and promote the market of assistive devices. The Strategy committed the European Union to consider the proposal of an European Accessibility Act by 2012.
Within the scope of this Act, it was envisaged that specific standards would be developed to ‘substantially improve the proper functioning of the EU market for accessible products and services.’
The Act would focus around technological goods and services procured in the European Union by public bodies. Companies that wanted to supply to this market would have to ensure that they consider the accessibility of their products. Companies will know that when they are developing products, not considering the needs of disabled people will harm their chances to supply to public bodies in the European Union.
We’d be grateful if you could also contribute to the campaign and contact your MEPs about this issue. Make the most of any contact you have with candidates and Members of European Parliament and ask them for their support for this worthy cause. MEPs are elected representatives and it is important that they are held to account and also that they use their influence to help make positive change for disabled people.
We have compiled a step-by-step guide on contacting your MEP which you can follow here LINK
Remember to forward your replies to firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspire will be following this up with successful candidates after the European Elections on Thursday May 22nd 2014.