Meeting of the Disability Intergroup on the Digital Single Market

Brussels,
15 September 2015

On 15 September, the Disability Intergroup met to discuss the new Strategy for the EU Digital Single Market. The meeting was chaired by intergroup Vice-President Olga Sehnalova, who is member of the IMCO Committee. Key MEPs active on this topic were present: MEPs Gebhardt and Kallas (EP co-rapporteurs on the DSM) as well as MEP Vicky Ford, Chair of the EP internal market Committee (among others).

In all areas of society, there is an increasing penetration of Information and Communication Technologies, which can make a difference for persons with disabilities and older people. The potential of ICT for persons with disabilities lies in their ability to open up a wide range of opportunities, and facilitate the participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. Furthermore, due to its intrinsic and always evolving nature, new technologies are more easily adaptable to the needs and expectations of the users.

When they are available, affordable and accessible, persons with disabilities use ICTs to a greater extent than their peers to overcome some of the barriers they find in the offline world. However, the most basic discrimination in this field is the one that concerns the access to the technologies and the DSM itself.

At the meeting EDF insisted that the new DSM strategy is an opportunity to make the digital single market as much inclusive as possible. Accessibility provisions should be included in the development of the relevant DSM actions.

Participants MEPs stated that they would work hard so that persons with disabilities are included in all parts of the DSM. They also proposed another initiative regarding the web accessibility directive - a future EP plenary debate to put pressure on the Council.

Download the Agenda of the meeting

Read EDF and AGE Platform Europe’s joint paper on the new Digital Single Market Strategy

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