In a letter to Commissioner Breton, the European Disability Forum requested that accessibility standards are made available for free to organisations of persons with disabilities and experts within their networks.
The letter, sent today to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day, explains that the cost of these standards is often unaffordable to organisations of persons with disabilities and individuals.
They are, in theory, extremely useful to ensure and evaluate the accessibility of a product or service. Unfortunately, their cost renders them inaccessible to organisations and experts that wish to use them. This poses a significant barrier to efforts in promoting accessibility.
The letter thus calls on the European Commission “to ensure barrier-free availability of European standards on accessibility” especially to organisations of persons with disabilities. It further points out that standards are often funded by public money and done with the contribution of these organisations, which leads to a situation where organisations can’t use or disseminate standards prepared with their input.
Standards included in the letter are:
- EN 17210:2021 ‘Accessibility and usability of the built environment – Functional requirements’ (Mandate 420), including its:
- Technical Report prCEN/CLC/TR 17621 on Accessibility and usability of built environment – Technical performance criteria and specifications;
- Technical Report prCEN/CLC/TR 17622 on Accessibility and usability of the built environment – Conformity assessment.
- EN 17161:2019 ‘Design for All – Accessibility following a Design for All approach in products, goods and services – Extending the range of users’ (Mandate 473).
- Future harmonised Standards will also need to be developed to support the European Accessibility Act.
Read the full letter