On November 7th, EUD joined online the AccessibleEU event “Building Community, Connecting Stakeholders”. The event aimed to encourage the dialogue among professionals, both at institutions and business level, in order to foster knowledge and competencies on accessibility.
The event was opened by a video message of Roberto Suárez, President of “Confederación Estatal de Personas Sordas”, stating the importance of providing appropriate answers and ensuring that all citizens can enjoy their life – as established in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. During the message, Mr Suárez restated the important role that the AccessibleEU Centre plays in fostering the participation of citizens with disabilities and the development of accessible technology. This message was also echoed by MEP Katrin Langensiepen who, in her video message, highlighted that accessibility will be a fundamental element on which European elections 2024 should be based.
During the meeting, it was highlighted the process that allowed the creation of the AccessibleEU Centre as part of the Disability Strategy 2021 – 2030 and the relevance of the online library on good practices about accessibility.
Among the discussions panels, the event was an opportunity to analyse how business should employ accessibility. The main point that emerged from the discussion highlighted the necessity to include accessibility in all areas of life: as presented by Cristina Lumbreras, Technical Director at the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), a fundamental service such as emergency call remains still inaccessible to part of the EU population – specifically deaf and hard of hearing people.
The following panels provided good practices on both digital and educational accessibility. Specifically, during the event, Wilfired Kainz presented the Zero Project which aims to share solutions and practices to improve the daily lives and legal rights of all persons with disabilities across the world. Following this intervention, Mr Luis Fernandez – President of the Council of European Professional Informatic Societies (CEPIS) – highlighted the importance of raising awareness and providing professional training on accessibility requirements for digital content creators. EUD welcomes all initiatives shared during this AccessibleEU event. The implementation of accessible measures ensures the full implementation of human rights for persons with disabilities. EUD calls for the sharing and highlighting of accessible measures to tackle communication barriers for deaf people in all areas of life by providing information in national sign languages and consulting with national deaf associations.