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Leak: EU Parliament to boost accessibility for people with disabilities

8 months ago 47

The European Parliament is set to implement rules to improve physical and digital accessibility to its premises around the EU for people with disabilities, according to an internal document seen by Euractiv. 

The Parliament was already in a good state of compliance, the document said, but new measures have to be put in place and a plan for spending €13.8 million was introduced to implement the physical accessibility policy for the 2023-2024 period.

On the latter issue, the policy proposal was approved on Tuesday (7 November) by the European Parliament bureau, an internal body responsible for the administrative matters of the parliament.

The policy aims at implementing 261 accessibility measures to put in place a “single accessibility standard for the institution over and above local and national legislation with a view to ensuring equal treatment of all its buildings, to enable for their use by all users in an independent manner”, the document states.

The 261 measures regard the mobility chain of the buildings, acoustics, lighting, or signage that impacts all spaces, behavioural measures of frontline staff in specific areas, such as entrances and catering facilities, as well as awareness-raising and communication activities and particular actions on tendering procedures, the document explains. 

Digital access 

The bureau also analysed the state of play of improving digital access to EU Parliament’s digital material for people with a disability, such as visual, auditory, cognitive, or physical impairments. 

The bureau decided to introduce a “digital accessibility officer” for each directorate-general, in order to establish a network responsible for introducing and implementing new policies and guidelines to comply with current European accessibility standards.

Ahead of the European parliamentary elections next June, the Parliament will launch the first “Parliament Elections content in easy-to-read format” at the end of this year.

The European elections website was already launched in July while a dedicated project of “Digital Accessibility for the European elections 2024” was established in May 2023, aiming to make any videos, social media platform, or complex websites, accessible to everyone.

CoFoE: Lack of inclusion of people with disabilities is worrying

Persons with disabilities do not have an equal access to the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), writes Yannis Vardakastanis.

Yannis Vardakastanis is the president of the European Disability Forum and a member of the CoFoE Plenary.

This problem makes the …

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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