MEPs must vote against a compromise that neglects citizens with disabilities.
The European Disability Forum asks MEPs to vote against the Digital Services Act’s (the Act) compromise text: this text excludes binding measures to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities. The vote will take place this Thursday (16 June) in the Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament.
Instead of mandatory provisions to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities, policymakers agreed on voluntary codes of conduct. Unfortunately, it is our experience that these are insufficient and seldom implemented.
We welcome EU action to protect internet users. But, as it is, the Act will not ensure that persons with disabilities can access digital services and platforms, such as social media or search engines, on an equal basis. It will not guarantee that persons with disabilities can control their data, report content, seek redress, or have equal access to express themselves online. It is a missed opportunity.
Legislation such as the Web Accessibility Directive and the European Accessibility Act made the EU a flagbearer for the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, this Act does not follow them, as the legislators left accessibility up to the goodwill of companies. The Digital Services Act will impact the digital world and the over one billion persons with disabilities worldwide. The EU must ensure legal coherence and the advancement of our rights. They should not be left up to goodwill.
Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the European Disability Forum, said:
To leave accessibility up to the goodwill of companies is a major step back on our rights. The EU and every member state have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities yet allow this major legislation to be proposed for adoption, which does not guarantee accessibility. If this agreement is adopted, the EU will miss an opportunity to make the digital world more inclusive to the over one billion people with disabilities worldwide.
- Digital Services Act fails to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities. EDF calls the EU to rectify this political agreement
- EDF Position Paper on the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act
Alejandro Moledo – Deputy Director
André Félix – Communications Coordinator