EUD attended a webinar hosted by the European Disability Forum (EDF) and the European Association of the Coordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation (ANEC) on the 29th of June, entitled ‘Introduction to standardisation’. The purpose of the event was to spread awareness among persons with disabilities and their respective organisations on the accessibility standards of the European Accessibility Act. The speakers of the event included Dr Chiara Giovannini, ANEC’s Deputy Secretary-general, Malin Rygg, the Chairperson of the Strategic Advisory Group on Accessibility (SAGA), and Alejandro Moledo, the EDF’s Head of Policy.
The technical details about the European standardisation were presented by both Dr Chiara Giovannini and Ms Malin Rygg. Dr Giovannini provided a summary of the role of ANEC, and an explanation of the process of creating the standards to support EU policies and addressing the challenges and barriers within the process. Dr Giovannini noted that the European organisations are free to choose whether to accept the request for standardisation, but if they do, this means they are then officially and legally committed to it. Ms Rygg gave some background information on SAGA, which was established in 2011 to advise other standardisation parties and groups on accessibility issues and other topics.
Alejandro Moledo provided the EDF’s perspective on disability rights organisations encouraging European standardisations. Mr Moledo explained the importance of the standards in improving the quality of products and services and giving certainty to both industry and users, especially with respect to the level of accessibility which will be ensured. For persons with disabilities, standard requirements for accessibility are essential for many of the services and products we use in our daily lives. For the deaf community, it is essential to understand the role of standardisation as it contributes to the increased safety, availability, choice and reliability of products and services.