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When ICT accessibility is not considered by public sector entities in the procurement phase, it reduces the employment possibilities for persons with disabilities. Every day in Europe, over 100 million persons with disabilities face barriers in accessing technologies owned by their public authorities. Inaccessible technologies such as websites, mobile apps, online services, and self-service terminals, purchased with taxpayers’ money, make persons with disabilities feel like second class citizens.

When the public sector applies accessibility requirements during the procurement process, it increases the usability of information and communication technology systems for all users. It’s not about making “special solutions” for “special people”. It’s about acknowledging diversity among citizens. It’s about the public sector making wise decisions and purchasing accessible technologies,” writes Alejandro Moledo, Policy Coordinator, European Disability Forum.

Read more on this subject, what the legal grounds supporting it are, and what is being done about it, on EU Policy Blog, and to discover a wide range of tech providers visit the free supplier matching platform GovShop.

The European Disability Forum (EDF), has joined forces with the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ICT) and Microsoft to start a campaign to raise awareness among policymakers, public procurers and disability organizations about the importance of accessible ICT in public procurement.

 

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