Autism-Europe, together with over a hundred self-advocates and representatives from the disability movement, demonstrated on March 6 in front of the European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium) to call on Parliamentarians to promote a strong and effective European Accessibility Act, in line with the objectives of its campaign “Break Barriers Together for Autism: Let’s Build an Accessible Society”, which focuses particularly on accessibility.
The demonstration, organised by the European Disability Forum, took place because the draft report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO Committee, responsible for the European Accessibility Act in the European Parliament) was “watering down the proposal for the Act to such an extent that fundamentally important parts of the Act may be lost”.
Therefore, activist called to adopt a stronger and more ambitious position on the Accessibility Act. Among others, they were calling on the European Parliament:
- to broaden the scope of the proposal by including the built environment and key products and services, such as household appliances and hotels;
- to make sure there is a comprehensive set of accessibility requirements in the Act;
- to ensure that the Accessibility Act has a strong relation with other legislation of the European Union, such as the Public Procurement Directive;
- to not exclude micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from applying the requirements of the Act;
- and to ensure a robust enforcement mechanism.