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EN 301549 - European Standard on accessibility
Feb 5 2019
Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe - EN 301 549. The European Standardization Organizations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI) have published a new European Standard on accessibility requirements for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) products and services.
Definition of Information and Communication Technology (ICT): technology, equipment, or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment for which the principal function is the creation, conversion, duplication, automatic acquisition, storage, analysis, evaluation, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, reception, or broadcast of data or information.
The aim of the Standard is to make ICT Products and services accessible for all.
With 80 million people in the EU currently living with disabilities, it is mission critical that the public sector promote the use of accessible technology.
When organizations such as governments and schools buy and use accessible technology, digital inclusion can thrive and doors are opened for people to expand their education, get jobs and access public services.
This implementation might be useful for other purposes such as procurement in the private sector.
Help people with disabilities to access your website
Improve your SEO (Search engine optimization) to get more traffic to your website.
Build Positive Publicity - Building an accessible website can also help your reputation!
Get more business by addressing to 80 million more people
The standard is based on WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and is complemented by a series of three Technical Reports (TR 101 550, TR 101 551 and TR 101 552). Together, these documents set out accessibility requirements that can be applied to a wide range of products and services related to ICT, including computers, smartphones and other digital devices, ticketing machines, websites and emails. The aim is to ensure that ICT products and services are accessible either directly or through compatibility with assistive technologies such as text-to-speech, so that everyone can access information and use services that are being delivered electronically.
The European Standard EN 301 549 is available (in English) on the ETSI website. During the next six months it will be published (in various languages) by the members of CEN (National Standards Bodies) and CENELEC (National Electrotechnical Committees) in 33 European countries (including all Member States of the EU and EFTA).
Do you want to expand your revenue stream and do some good for the world in process?
People with disabilities (PWD), estimated at 1.3 billion, form a market the size of China. Together with their friends and family, acting on their emotional connection, PWD hold over $8 Trillion in annual disposable income. With the elderly population, a group with the biggest share of the national wealth, adding to this number, this is a market that can’t be ignored.
Put the exit dream aside. Every startup aspires to accumulate a large number of enterprise customers - the kind whose logo, when posted on the site, would display a kind of "industry standard” and identify them as a reliable market-leading company. About half of startup companies fail at this task - how can they succeed in their own right and sell their services directly to enterprise-level organizations?
THE MOST PROMISING ACCESSIBILITY SOLUTION - The value of a digital solution hinges on its ability to provide effortless accessibility functions to end consumers without compromising user experiences. Along the same lines, a website that fails to help differently-abled patrons attain equal experiences is bound to tarnish an organization’s hard-earned reputation. A lack of special web features prevents disabled people from navigating the vast online information realm and isolates them from the general society. Hence, a company’s digital architecture must be as hospitable and inclusive as its brick-and-mortar facilities.