DIRECTIVE (EU) 2019/882 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 17 April 2019 – On the Accessibility Requirements for Products and Services

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Vincenzo Rubano
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Also known as “European Accessibility Act (EAA)”, directive (EU) 2019/882 is a directive passed by the European Parliament and the Council in 2019. It aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services, by removing barriers created by divergent rules in Member States.

In particular, both businesses and persons with disabilities (and the elderly population) would benefit from significant advantages.

Persons with disabilities and elderly people should benefit from:

  • more accessible products and services in the market;
  • accessible products and services at more competitive prices;
  • fewer barriers when accessing transport, education and the open labour market;
  • more jobs available where accessibility expertise is needed.

Businesses should benefit from:

  • common rules on accessibility in the EU leading to costs reduction;
  • easier cross-border trading;
  • more market opportunities for their accessible products and services.

Products and services covered are the ones that have been identified as being most important for persons with disabilities while being most likely to have diverging accessibility requirements across EU countries. They include:

  • computers and operating systems;
  • ATMs, ticketing and check-in machines;
  • smartphones;
  • TV equipment related to digital television services;
  • telephony services and related equipment;
  • access to audio-visual media services such as television broadcast and related consumer equipment;
  • services related to air, bus, rail and waterborne passenger transport;
  • banking services;
  • e-books;
  • e-commerce.

In order to determine the products and services to be covered, oth stakeholders and accessibility experts were consulted; the obligations deriving from the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

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