On 15 September, the Disability Intergroup in the European Parliament organised a meeting to discuss the new digital single market and how it will include persons with disabilities.
The digital single market means a harmonised market in all EU Member States for goods and services in digital format, for example information on websites, online banking and payments, communication with government on public services.
Today, over 30% of persons with disabilities are excluded from the digital market, meaning these goods and services are not accessible to them.
At the meeting, 8 Members of the European Parliament spoke about the importance of working on making the digital market accessible for all. One of the MEPs was Helga Stevens.
A representative for Commissioner Ansip, mentioned that since the EU has ratified the UNCRPD, it is important to work on accessibility for all in all areas, including the digital single market in the EU.
Representative from European Disability Forum said it is important to include an accessibility perspective to this topic in legislation from the EU but also that the EU institutions should look at their own work and accessibility of their websites and the information they release in digital formats. EDF also commented that this topic is also linked to the European Accessibility Act.
Accessibility in the digital market for deaf people includes for example having subtitles in videos, providing information in sign language, and allowing for communication with government services in sign language online.