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Two days ago we told you about the international initiatives to include the rights of persons with disabilities into the universal sustainable development goals. The implementation of these initiatives is highly dependent on a strong political will, including at the regional level. Recently the European Union demonstrated such will.

As you can see on this video, on the 2nd December, the European Commission finally proposed the European Accessibility Act.

As a result, the most important products and services (from telephony to transport) will now have to be accessible from the start. This act will be especially useful for small businesses to take advantage of an EU market with one single set of requirements related accessibility, and will help to spread many of the small projects that we featured in our best practices during the past 4 years. And it will also stimulate innovation since requirements for accessibility will be a prerequisite to get EU funds.

And here are more examples of practices that could benefit from this EU regulation:

– The building of disability-smart business, by our partner the Business Disability Forum, will certainly be facilitated.

– More services like website for job research (see our 2013 report on employment), transport and accommodation (Railway or  buses, hotel see our 2014 report on accessibility) or even bank services will be  will surely be made more universal.

– Cultural services, like museum, will also be re-designed for all.

– Company will be encouraged to develop more accessible mobile Devices and online tools, such as the interactive city map for wheelchair user we reminded you about for the international day of person with disabilities.