On the 13 March, the European Parliament in its Strasbourg plenary session approved the final text of the European Accessibility Act (EAA).
The EAA aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services by harmonising the existing legislation through the implementation of common accessibility principles. It will apply to the areas of computers and operating systems, ATMs, ticketing and check-in machines, smartphones, TV equipment, telephony services, audiovisual media services such as television broadcast, services related to air, bus, rail and waterborne passenger transport, banking services, e-books and e-commerce.
The EAA is a step forward in reducing barriers for people with disabilities and older people within the EU, improving the accessibility of products and services that citizens use every day. Nevertheless, in order to achieve social inclusion of persons with disabilities many other areas should be accessible, including the built environment, transport and mainstream services.
The next steps for the official adoption of the EAA and the start of its transposition process, will be the formal approval by the Council of the EU and its publication in the EU’s Official Journal.