EQUAL ACCESS INCLUDES E-ACCESS
21 April 2011 /// EDF responded to the Commissions’ Public Consultation concerning the implementation of legislation governing electronic identification within the EU. Information and communication technologies are vital to making possible the professional and cultural inclusion of persons with disabilities. This is why EDF emphasises the importance of e-accessibility. To ensure that the European Commission delivers on its commitment taken under the Digital Agenda for Europe, EDF made sure that the voice of 80 million persons with disabilities was heard.
>E-accessibility for everyone
In May 2010, the European Commission released the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), one of the flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Within the DAE there are some aspects, concerning the access to information society and communication technologies that effect persons with disabilities. Under the pillar of ‘enhancing e-skills’ the Commission has promised to ‘systematically evaluate accessibility in revisions of legislation undertaken under the Digital Agenda, e.g. eCommerce, eIdentity & eSignature, following the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.’ (Acion 63, COM(2010)245). This measure is also part of the Disability strategy 2010-2020.
Electronic barriers created by heterogeneous implementations in the Member States make difficult the cross-border use of:
However to create a secure digital single market with easy and seamless access to public or private e-services, we need secure and trustworthy systems. The development of electronic signatures, Identities and authentification systems is key to ensuring consumers trust when it comes to using private and public services via the internet. EDF responded to the Public Consultation, highlighting specifically accessibility issues in the Framework of the Implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe.
Essentially EDF’s response to the consultation was that consumers and citizens with disabilities should not be excluded from using e-signatures and e-authentification, instead they should have equal access to these services and be able to use them as freely as their non-disabled peers.
The Commission’s website for the Digital Agenda for Europe
Find out more about the Europe 2020 Strategy
to the Commission’s public consultation
Photo © Rachel Titiriga