16 June 2011 /// On the occasion of the 1st Digital Agenda Assembly EDF and its partners are launching their campaign for Accessible websites. 95% of public websites remain inaccessible. Concretely, this means that older people and persons with disabilities cannot access vital information online and perform the same everyday tasks as non-disabled people can.
Download the media release
>Why is access to websites crucial?
In an increasing digitalised society, more and more essential information and services are available online. To access them, persons with disabilities and older people require websites designed according to web-accessibility standards to operate correctly with their assistive technologies. Unfortunately, most of the websites, including public websites, do not respect those standards and are inaccessible to a vast majority of the population.
“I tried to access a government website that showed a short video on how elections work. I could not understand the video because there was no alternative version of the video with a sign language interpretation.”
“Internet is great but I cannot access my bank account online because it is too complicated to log on to the bank website.”
“On the radio, I heard an advertisement informing listeners of how to check electricity invoices online. I was interested and went to the mentioned website. However, it was a Flash animation and I am blind so my screen-reader could not read anything and I could not pay my bills online, like anyone else.”
>What is needed?
The European Commission has committed to improving web-accessibility by 2015:
- The Digital Agenda for Europe, one of the flagships of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 mention a legislative proposal that would “ensure that public sector websites and websites providing basic services to citizens are fully accessible by 2015”.
- By concluding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the EU committed to take action to ensure equal access to information to persons with disabilities.
In the past, the European institutions have repeatedly promised to make public websites accessible but this has not been fulfilled.
>Web-Access must become a reality for all!
It is time to act! On the occasion of the first Digital Agenda Assembly, 4 key European organisations, AGE platform Europe, ANEC, EBU and EDF, have come together to call on the European Commission to propose a binding legislation, that delivers web accessibility for all, as soon as possible.
EDF, represented by its Secretary, Rodolfo Cattani, and its Acting Director, Javier Güemes, will present our proposals, for increased accessibility, at the Digital Agenda Assembly on 16 June 2011.
Find out more about our ‘Access Denied! Campaign for Accessible Websites’ in the joint position paper
Read the joint proposal for a Legal Act on Accessible Websites
Download the ‘Access Denied! Campaign for Accessible Websites’ leaflet
Nadège Riche |Policy Officer | +32 2 282 46 05 | Nadege.email@example.com
Aurelien Dayde | Media Officer |+32 2 282 46 04 | Aurelien.firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: ©Mike Licht