Last week the European Standard EN 17161:2019 ‘Design for All – Accessibility following a Design for All approach in products, goods and services – Extending the range of users’ was published. This is an important Standard in the development of which EDF has played an active role and it’s the main result of the Commission Mandate 473.
The Standard specifies requirements that can enable organisations to design, develop and provide products, goods and services which are accessible to a wide diversity of users, including persons with disabilities. The Design for All approach set by the Standard can be used by private, as well as public organisations.
EN 17161:2019 can also be useful for organisations to comply with the newly adopted European Accessibility Act, and considered by public authorities as a selection criterion for public procurement. This means that more companies that provide goods and services will be encouraged to follow a Design for All approach, which in the end will benefit consumers and users with disabilities.
Finally, the Standard helps to ensure the application of the “Universal design” approach as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires “design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”
Consequently, the approach will lead to increased independent participation by persons with disabilities in private and public life.