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Brussels, 11 March 2013 /// On 3 December 2012, the European Commission released a legislative proposal on the accessibility of public websites addressing public sector bodies’ websites, such as those of municipality services, those for income taxes declaration, job search services, education, health related services, etc. Having analysed and scrutinised the proposal, EDF presents its view on the proposal and its proposal for changes to make web accessibility a reality for 80 million of European citizens for disabilities.

Despite the commitment taken by EU member States in Riga in 2006 and the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), which foresees the right of persons with disabilities to have access on an equal basis with others to all information and communications technologies, including internet, today 2/3 of public websites in Europe are still not accessible. The European Commission’s proposal is a good opportunity for the EU to implement the UN CRPD, as well as a test of its real commitment to this aim. To this end, the European disability movement believes that only a proposal with a wider scope and a binding enforcement mechanism will bring a real change.


  •            A broaden scope of the proposal: We believe that the current scope of the proposal is too restrictive; it should include all public bodies’ websites providing services directly to the public, such as schools, universities, libraries, employment services, health care mutual services and public transport.
  •            An enforcement mechanism: We believe that without an effective enforcement mechanism and an efficient monitoring system involving persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, this proposal won’t be able to ensure the accessibility of the websites concerned.
  •            An internal market approach: Web accessibility should not only focus on the benefits for persons with disabilities, but also on the financial and societal benefits in general; the role of the market is among others social inclusion, equality, non-discrimination and social justice.


The European Disability movement’s position on the web accessibility legislative proposal is available here


Lila Sylviti | EDF Communications officer |


The European Disability Forum is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe. The mission of EDF is to ensure persons with disabilities full access fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe. EDF is a member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and it is currently chairing its governing body.




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