Persons with disabilities are still facing discrimination in several areas of life. Often they cannot access transport stops or public buildings, and websites very often lack basic e-accessibility functionality. Such situation persists despite legislation has been enacted to curtail existing problems, but implementation advances at a slow pace or came to a standstill. A new culture of accessibility is therefore needed to empower persons with disabilities and allow them to fully enjoy their rights as citizens. As a result, the EESC has decided to prepare an own-initiative Opinion focusing on "accessibility as a human right" and to organise this public hearing.
The hearing will provide an holistic approach to accessibility encompassing not only physical but also electronic accessibility and access to services. It will make the case of regarding accessibility to persons with disabilities as a human right on its own, in line with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the EU has ratified in 2011. Conclusions of the event will support the drafting process of the Opinion.