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Spain, global leader in accessibility standardisation

Spain, global leader in accessibility standardisation

20/06/2019

  • The Spanish Standardisation Association, UNE, together with the ONCE Foundation, is currently spearheading several European and international standards, including the first European built environment accessibility standard and the first international accessible tourism standard.
  • UNE publishes a Report in which it explains how technical standards help to achieve universal accessibility and equal opportunities, thereby facilitating social integration of people with disabilities. 

20 June 2019. The Spanish Association for Standardisation-UNE, has published the Report Standardisation Support for Universal Accessibility, explaining how technical standards help to achieve universal accessibility and equal opportunities, thereby facilitating social integration of people with disabilities. To this end, it reviews the main accessibility standards, such as UNE 170001 which establishes the requirements for a universal accessibility management system.

The report highlights Spain's dominance in several European and international standards. As such, UNE, together with the ONCE Foundation, is currently spearheading what will be the first European built environment accessibility standard (the future EN 17210) and the first international accessible tourism standard (the future ISO 21902); UNE acts as the technical standardisation body responsible for these two future standards, whereas the ONCE Foundation oversees them, drawing on its national experience and knowledge.

Spain has also spearheaded the first European ICT accessibility standard, recently included in the Spanish catalogue as UNE-EN 301549 or the first international built environment accessibility standard, ISO 21542.

Organisations in the disability sector play an active role in promoting technical standards; such organisations include the ONCE Foundation, the Royal Disability Board, the National Centre for Personal Autonomy and Technical Assistance (CEAPAT) and the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (CERMI).

The standards indicate what a product should be like or how a service should function, so that it is safe and responds to what the consumer expects from it. They reflect good practices, the fruit of consensus and the participation of all parties involved.

The ONCE Foundation and UNE have been working for almost two decades to boost accessibility standards. For example, the Technical Standardisation Committee (CTN) 170 on Universal Accessibility and Design for All was created in January 2001.