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Products and services to be made more accessible for disabled persons in the EU

27 April 2017

Key products and services, like phones and TV equipment, ATMs, ticketing and check-in machines, PCs and operating systems, consumer banking services, e-books, transport and e-commerce will have to be made more accessible to people with disabilities, under draft EU rules, although microbusinesses (those employing under 10 people and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total does not exceed €2 million) would be exempt.

The accessibility requirements would also cover the “built environment” where the service is provided, including transport infrastructure, but would only apply to products and services placed on the EU market after the directive takes effect. EU ministers in the Council still need to agree a general approach before Parliament’s negotiators can begin talks with them on the final shape of the legislation. MEPs agreed to base the requirements for accessibility on functionality, rather than on technical specifications. This means the EAA will say what needs to be accessible in terms of “functional performance requirements” but will not impose detailed technical solutions as to how to make it accessible, thus allowing for innovation.

Read the press release here.

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