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Disability Voice



Accessibility? Act! 

Join our demonstration on 6 March in Brussels!
 Leaflet with information on the demonstration. Same information is mentioned in the text of the editorial.


The European Parliament is currently discussing the European Commission’s proposal for a European Accessibility Act. The disability movement in Europe has been long campaigning for a  strong and ambitious European Accessibility Act; the Act would make products and services in the European Union more accessible for all citizens including 80 million persons with disabilities and 190 million people aged 50 and older. Still today, so many millions of people in Europe are excluded from using basic products and services that are taken for granted for other citizens because they are not accessible.

We expected that the European Parliament would strengthen the European Commission’s proposal. However, we are deeply concerned by the recently published draft report of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO Committee), which is the responsible Committee for the European Accessibility Act in the European Parliament. The Committee’s report not only does not strengthen the European Commission’s proposal for the Act, but it is also watering it down. The report threatens to lead to an unambitious position of the European Parliament on the Act that will fail to bring a real positive change in the lives of its citizens.

For this reason, we joined forces with AGE Platform Europe and ANEC, the organisation representing consumers in standardisation, and we sent a joint open letter to all members of the European Parliament to draw their attention to several key elements of the report which threaten the Act.

The IMCO Committee will discuss the Act among other topics on 6 March in the European Parliament in Brussels. On the same day at 12.00, we will demonstrate out of the European Parliament (Place du Luxembourg) calling for a strong and ambitious European Accessibility Act!

Join us and raise your voices for more accessibility and equality for all people in Europe!

Yannis Vardakastanis 
EDF President 


Drawing with examples of audiovisual media such as TV

EDF & Broadcasters draw up common proposal to improve access to audiovisual media services

EDF, the European Broadcasting Union and the Association of Commercial Television in Europe have made a common proposal to improve the accessibility of audiovisual media services for persons with disabilities. This agreement was reached upon the initiative of the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Petra Kammerevert, who is preparing the European Parliament's report on the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).


The word 'holocaust'

Honouring the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 

On the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January, EDF joined forces with other anti-racism and anti-discrimination civil society organisations and activists to underline the need to react to the alarming rise in xenophobia and the popularity of far-right politics and discourses across Europe and the world. 'This is a day to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazi regime against Jews, Roma, Sinti, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people. Remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust should serve as a warning and remind us to be vigilant and learn lessons from Europe’s darkest history chapter as a way to avoid its repetition', says our joint statement among other things. 
Logo of the Disability Intergroup

Disability Intergroup: challenges and opportunities ahead  

EDF, the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament and Social Platform co-organised a New Year reception on 23 January, hosted by the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Marek Plura. MEP Marek Plura highlighted that the Members of the Disability Intergroup will work hard to promote the adoption of an ambitious European Accessibility Act, as well as independent living and the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in close cooperation with EDF and its members.
MEPs Helga Stevens and Adam Kosa together with EDF Executive Member, Yannis Yallouros, during the meeting in Strasbourg

Maltese Presidency supports a strong European Accessibility Act  

The European Accessibility Act was high on the agenda of the meeting of the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament on 19 January in Strasbourg, The representative of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Parliamentary Secretary for Persons with Disabilities, Ms Justyna Caruana, gave a strong speech in support of the Accessibility Act stating: “We want to speed up the adoption of the Act, even if it means some short-term pain – it will be for the long-term gain!”.


Logo of EDF Board

18-19/02: EDF Board meeting

EDF Board meeting will take place next weekend in Malta. It will open with a conference on inclusive employment for persons with disabilities. Follow all updates on @MyEDF twitter account using the hashtag #EDFboard.

Picture with symbols of various products and services such as phones, computers, transport etc saying 'Accessibility? Act'

06/03: Demonstration on the European Accessibility Act

EDF invites its members, partners and all people with or without disabilities to call on the European Parliament for a strong and ambitious European Accessibility Act which will bring a real change in the lives of millions of citizens. Join us on Monday 6 March at 12.00 in front of the European Parliament in Brussels! 
Logo of ERA - Academy of European Law

27 - 28/03: Seminar on EU disability law

EDF cooperates with the Academy of European Law (ERA) and the European Consortium of Foundations on Human Rights and Disability (EFC) in the organisation of 6 seminars on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and EU disability law. The next seminar will take place on 27-28 March 2017 in Trier, Germany.
Editor: Lila Sylviti
Director of publication: Catherine Naughton
Contributors: Etienne Cuche | Marie Denninghaus | Loredana Dicsi | An-Sofie Leenknecht | Laura Marchetti | Alejandro Moledo

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Copyright © 2017 European Disability Forum, All rights reserved.

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