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European standards and public policies on accessibility

European experts underline the key role of standards in public policies on accessibility


The ONCE Foundation and the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, today held the virtual workshop 'Common accessibility criteria for the built environment: Outcomes of Mandate M/420'. During the event, leading European accessibility experts underlined the decisive role of technical standards in promoting accessibility policies in Europe. The meeting brought together almost 300 experts from all over Europe.

These standards, which are being developed under the framework of the European Commission, will promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the EC Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030.

At the workshop, the first European standard on accessibility in the built environment, EN 17210:2021 Accessibility and Usability of the Built Environment, was presented. Functional requirements .This new standard, which is a milestone for accessibility, is of great help to all those professionals involved in the commissioning, design, construction or management of buildings and urban spaces. The standard defines the functional requirements, which provides great flexibility to choose between the different possible technical solutions.

This standard, which will soon be adopted in the Spanish catalogue, has been developed in the European standardisation committee CEN-CENELEC JTC 11, which is responsible for the development of European standards for accessibility in the built environment. Spain has played a leading role in this European standard, both from the UNE secretariat, as well as the leadership of the project by Fundación ONCE, among others. In addition, the future normative documents in this area were announced at the workshop.

The meeting was attended by, among others, Katarina Ivankovic-Knezevic, the European Commission's Director at the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion; Jesús Hernández-Galán, Director of Universal Accessibility and Innovation at Fundación ONCE and Chairman of CEN/CLC/JTC 11; Cinzia Missiroli, Director of Standardisation and Digital Solutions at CEN-CENELEC; Tatiana Alemán, Managing Director of Ceapat and Javier García, Director General of the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE


Accessibility Workshop by Fundación

Press release​​​​