People with disabilities are often prevented from traveling freely by the lack of recognition of their disability status, and by their inability to access services they would normally be entitled to in their home countries.
On 26 February, the European Parliament endorsed amendments to the proposal for a Directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies’ website put forward by the European Commission in December 2012.
The European Commission questions Italy over the enforcement of rights of passengers with disabilities. According to the official communication from the European Commission, Italy failed to uphold the rights of passengers with disabilities in three areas: coach and bus transport, maritime and inland waterway transport and the compensation fund. The government of Italy has two months to reply to the Commission how they plan to overcome these challenges.
Unapei and its member organisations call on municipalities to improve the participation of people with intellectual disabilities in public life in France. Unapei demands the local government to empower persons with intellectual disabilities to become actors in political life and to make local services and places accessible for everyone.
The Cooperativa Altavoz together with FEAPS and Barclays Foundation launched an initiative on accessibility of bank services in Spain. A group of persons with intellectual disabilities visited a bank office in Madrid to scrutinise its accessibility and propose actions to improve the access of people with intellectual disabilities to its services.
The European Commission announced Gothenburg as the winner of 2014 Access City Award during the European Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December. This award marks the engagement of municipality of Gothenburg to make transport, housing and employment conditions more accessible for people with disabilities and older people.
NHS England is developing a framework for accessible information called an Information Standard. This guidance will set out the requirements for accessible information for health care and social care institutions, as well as for public administration. Thus it is expected to improve the communication between people with disabilities and information providers and help to involve people with disabilities in decision-making.
Organisations of persons with intellectual disabilities from across Europe call on public authorities, information and education providers as well as the general public to recognise the right of persons with intellectual disabilities to information and lifelong learning.
A European high-level conference under the title “Voting for all! Improving accessibility of elections in the member states of the European Union” will be held on 30 and 31 May 2011 in Brussels. The conference is organised as a final event for the project “Accommodating Diversity for Active Participation in the European Elections” .