Europe demands action on IT accessibility

It's time for politicians to close the digital divide and give everyone better access to technology, says the EC

The European Commission has called upon the continent's governments to do more to make technology accessible to pensioners and those with disabilities.

The EC has adopted a communication encouraging member states to make e-accessibility a requirement in their procurement, to exploit existing legislation in favour of bridging the digital divide, and to experiment with using certification schemes to persuade vendors to build accessibility into their products.

Information society and media commissioner Viviane Reding said the latest wave of devices and services can be used to enable older people to live more independently and improve their quality of life.

She also predicted a new market will grow up around providing accessible digital services.

The EC will review progress in two years' time and, if adequate changes have not been made, it may pass legislation to mandate improved accessibility.