Accessibility 

Accessibility prevents or removes barriers to the use of mainstream products and services. It allows the perception, operation and understanding of those products and services by persons with functional limitations, including people with disabilities, on an equal basis with others.

Standards are powerful tools to integrate and strengthen accessibility aspects providing a framework, requirements and specifications for accessible products and services.

CEN and CENELEC contact person: Monica Ibido

 

News and events

Meetings

  • CEN/BT/WG 213 Strategic Advisory Group on Accessibility (SAGA) meeting is scheduled on 23 May 2017

Technical bodies and activities

List of technical bodies, which work is related to accessibility:

Sector Forum

The CEN/BT/WG 213 Strategic Advisory Group on Accessibility (SAGA) was created by CEN/BT in 2011 in line with the CEN policy on horizontal issues in standardization and with full participation of representatives of CENELEC/BT and ETSI Board.
SAGA is  an advisory and coordinator body to the CEN and CENELEC BTs on political and strategic matters related to ‘Accessibility’ .  it does not develop standardization deliverables

It includes representatives of National Standards Bodies, National Committees and ETSI ( TC HF), as well as organizations representing persons with disabilities and older people.
 
CEN/BT WG 213 ‘SAGA’ will ensure that accessibility is addressed in accordance with the strategic objectives of the European standardization system and strategies to 2020 and provide recommendations to this aim. It  represents the main source of knowledge and expertise on accessibility issues to CEN and CENELEC BTs.
CEN/BT WG 213 is specifically in charge of the monitoring of the execution of Mandate M/473 related to Accessibility following Design for All approach  and  keep information about other Mandates in this field.

SAGA  also promotes best practices, helps raising awareness about accessibility when new standards are developed or existing standards are revised; follows any EU and national  legislative and policy initiatives and promotes any new relevant initiatives in the field of ‘Accessibility’
 
The Secretariat of CEN/BT/WG 213 SAGA is held by Standards Norway, Mr Tom Høseggen. The Convenor is Mr Haakon Aspelund.

European legislation and mandates

The European Legal framework

The United Nations Convention on the  Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is the first legally binding international human rights instrument to which both the European Union as a whole and EU Member States  are Parties.
 
The UNCRPD requests States Parties to promote universal design in the development of standards and to develop, promulgate and monitor implementation of minimum standards for accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public.
 
The European Commission is expected to publish a Proposal for a European Accessibility Act, which will complement the existing EU legal framework in this field and support the creation of a market for accessible goods and services for persons with disabilities and older people.
 
The European Commission issued in December 2012,  a Proposal for a Directive on ‘the accessibility of public sector bodies’ websites’ COM (2012) 721 final, which is clearly mentioning the European standard including web accessibility in line with WCAG 2.0, under development within the Mandate M/376.
 
Mandates
  • M/376  in support of European accessibility requirements for public procurement of products     and services in the ICT domain;
  • M/420 in support of European accessibility requirements for public procurement in the built environment;
  • M/473 to include ‘Design for All’ in relevant standardization initiatives
  • M/273 Standardisation in the field of information and communications technologies (ICT) for disabled and elderly people
  • M/283 Guidance document in the field of safety and usability of products by people with special needs (e.g. elderly and disabled)

Useful links and documents