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The ONCE Foundation and UNE direct the first European standard in accessibility in the built environment


Spain is once again a global reference in accessibility standards. The European Standardization Bodies CEN and CENELEC, have just approved the first European standard on accessibility of the built environment, led by the Fundación ONCE and the Spanish Association for Standardization (UNE).

The EN 17210 Standard on Accessibility and usability of the built environment. Functional requirements establish the needs that must be met in built environments, including urban spaces, in order to be considered accessible, thus fostering accessibility and equal opportunities.

The standard will be published in early 2021 and will be available in Spanish in the first quarter in the UNE standards catalogue.

Technical standards provide an effective response to major business challenges and are a strong support for governments in the effective deployment and regulation of public policies

In fact, EN 17210 responds to the M/420 mandate from the European Commission (EC). It has been drawn up with the participation and consensus of leading European and Spanish organisations representing all the parties involved: governments, national standardization bodies, users, consumers, groups of people with disabilities and businesses.

The document has been drawn up by the JTC 11 Joint Technical Standardization Committee on accessibiliity of the built environment of CEN and CENELEC, chaired by Jesús Hernández Galán (ONCE Foundation) and managed by the UNE secretariat.

The document has been approved with broad support from the National Standards Organizations that are members of CEN and CENELEC, including UNE on behalf of Spain. The participation of users, represented by ANEC (European Association for the Coordination of Consumer Representation in Standardization) has been fundamental; EDF (European Disability Forum) and AGE Platform Europe (European network of non-profit organizations for the elderly), has been essential.

Other key players have been ENAT (European Accessible Tourism Network), SBS (Small Business Standards), which represents SMEs in standardization, and ETSA (European Textile Services Association).

This is not the only case in which our country leads in global accessibility standards. For example, the future ISO 21902 International Standard on accessible tourism, is led by the ONCE Foundation, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and UNE. This is the first global standard in this field and is expected to be published shortly. 

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