Information and Communication Technologies are constantly evolving, which can create problems of interoperability (i.e. the ability of different technologies to work together) and efficiency. That is why standards and technical specification for ICTs are being put forward and developed all around the world. This situation is also a good opportunity for persons with disabilities to take part in the process in order to make sure that apart from these objectives, the ICT standards take into account the accessibility and design for all approach. As EDF always points out, it is easier to ensure accessibility from the outset, and standardisation is a perfect tool to do so.

Mandate 376

The Standardization Mandate 376 on European accessibility requirements for public procurement of products and services in the ICT domain (M/376) was launched in 2005 by the European Commission, and was made possible by the inclusion of reference to accessibility, design for all and fight against discrimination on the basis of disability in the Public Procurement Directive for which EDF advocated in the past. Since the standard was addressing the needs of persons with disabilities when accessing ICT products and services, EDF was involved from the beginning until the adoption of the final European Standard 301 509. It is intended to ensure that websites, software, hardware, and other digital devices are more accessible to persons with disabilities.