In 2012 the Commission was planning to propose a European Accessibility Act, which was to be a legislative initiative aimed at improving the accessibility of goods and services in the single market. To date, no such proposal has been adopted.
The only proposal made to date concerns web accessibility, and I am the rapporteur for it. This directive, while very important, is limited in scope. It focuses solely on government services and is confined to the accessibility of digital goods and content. By definition, it does not cover physical goods.
There is an urgent need to adopt the wider European Accessibility Act in order to allow all individuals with disabilities, together with the elderly, full access to the market.
According to the Commission’s own reports, people with disabilities currently represent approximately 10% of the EU’s working-age population, a proportion that is increasing as the population ages. Given the correlation between disability and ageing, and the demographic changes taking place in Europe, over 20% of the EU population would benefit from future improvements in the accessibility of goods and services.
1. What is the current status of the European Accessibility Act?