The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Disability Forum (EDF) and the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) have drawn up a proposal to improve the accessibility of audiovisual media services for people with disabilities.
EDF, EBU and ACT expect their proposed measures to enhance the accessibility of TV programmes, in particular via subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, audio description, spoken subtitles and sign language interpretation.
The proposal aims to improve existing wording on audiovisual accessibility under Article 7 of the 2010 Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), which EU legislators are currently reviewing.
A large number of stakeholders and EU decision-makers have highlighted the need to maintain and develop the AVMSD's provisions on access services.
Rodolfo Cattani, EDF secretary general, stated: “People with disabilities have the right to enjoy audiovisual content as much as anybody else, and that is why the AVMSD has to make sure that the programmes, both broadcast and on-demand, incorporate access services.
"If adopted, we will be closer to a fully inclusive media environment. However, we still need to cover the accessibility of the equipment, information, and gateways to this content, such as TV equipment, electronic programming guides, websites and mobile applications, in other EU legislations."