World Federation of the Deaf – Sign Languages are for Everyone
23 September 2021
The EUD is currently in Strasbourg, France, following a very important plenary vote on the European Accessibility Act (EAA) that is taking place today. We observed the debate on the EAA yesterday, where many different opinions and positions on how strong the Act should be, were presented. The EUD, as the representative of deaf Europeans, supports the views of those whose objective it is to create more accessible products and services for all Europeans, including for persons with disabilities, rather than favouring industry interests. We support the view that inaccessibility leads to exclusion and discrimination which is contrary to the values of the EU.
We met the Rapporteur of the EAA, Morten Løkkegaard, and interviewed him about the EAA and its relevance for deaf Europeans. We appreciate this outstanding opportunity to discuss the legislative possess with and present the deaf perfective directly to the Rapporteur. We reminded Mr Løkkegaard that the European deaf community for instance relies on subtitles and sign language interpretation on TV and needs the EAA to contain clear requirements for broadcasters on how to create accessible TV based on the obligations that will be established in the Audiovisual Media Service (AVMS) directive.
Moreover, the EUD met with the European Disability Forum for final advocacy actions and with Members of the European Parliament to convince them to vote for a strong EAA to make sure that it will have a positive impact on the lives of persons with disabilities across the EU.
We will follow and analyse the vote that is taking place today and will release a statement later this week. We hope that the European Parliament will vote in favour of a more accessible Europe for all, including 80 million people with disabilities!
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