Madrid, 6th February 2023. The creation of ‘AccessibleEU’ and the consortium is one of the flagship initiatives proposed by the European Commission in the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030.
It will serve to increase the coherence of accessibility policies and facilitate access to relevant knowledge. ‘AccessibleEU’ will bring together national authorities responsible for implementing and ensuring compliance with accessibility standards with experts and practitioners from all fields of accessibility, in order to share good practices, inspire the development of both national and European policies and promote tools and standards aimed at facilitating the implementation of European Union Law.
The ‘AccessibleEU’ consortium is led by the ONCE Foundation, an international benchmark in accessibility, the Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria and the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), whose headquarters are in Brussels. Likewise, the Spanish Association for Standardisation (UNE) and the European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD) are part of the project.
The main objective of the Accessibility Resource Centre, which will not have a physical location, is to facilitate the practical application of European Union legislation on accessibility in order to improve the availability of more accessible products, services and infrastructure in the EU. In this sense, an online library on accessibility will be launched that will include direct access, through links, to the most important databases on legislation, standards, documentation on accessibility and assistive products and technologies, among others.
In addition, the resource centre aims to create a community of accessibility experts, connect all parties interested in this matter, create a one-stop-shop for knowledge, develop a professional training programme, and encourage technical standardisation and participation of people with disabilities in their mechanisms.
Lastly, ‘EU Accessibility’ will offer guidelines on how to implement disability policies in the different sectors and will ensure compliance with the different standards and guidelines on accessibility. For this, an innovative methodology will be designed that allows organisations to self-assess themselves on the subject.