Regarding the lack of accessibility of information and communication in International Sign of the EU’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
20 March 2020
Recently, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached a political agreement on the Audiovisual Media Service Directive (AVMSD) revision. Among many others, it will include an article on the accessibility of media services, which will be stronger compared to the article in the previous directive: the 2010 directive only called upon to Member States to encourage media service providers in their country to ensure that their services are gradually made accessible to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted, but it did not create any obligations.
As the finalised text has not been published yet, we currently cannot communicate the exact wording. However, according to the European Disability Forum, the article dedicated to accessibility will contain the following elements:
The European Parliament press release on this topic is available here (accessible in all EU countries): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20180423IPR02332/audiovisual-media-agreement-reached-on-new-media-services-directive
The formal adoption of the directive in the European Parliament is currently foreseen for the European Parliament plenary session in October or November 2018. Once adopted, it will have to be transposed into national law of EU member states and will create new obligations for media broadcasters and Member States. At that point, we will be available for advice and support to NADs with regards to advocacy work for a strong transposition into national law.
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