EBU continues to monitor CEN standardisation work for the accessibility of lifts, in close liaison with ANEC and EDF. This month we were involved more directly than usual, likely due to recent criticism – including in our position paper of February 2019 to the European Commission – that DPOs are insufficiently heard in the process of revising the standard EN 81-70.
- We participated in the preparation of the 7 April meeting (online) of the relevant working group (CEN/TC 10/WG 7).
- On 16 April, we participated in the meeting (online) of the Steering Group meeting of the relevant joint technical committee of CEN and CENELEX (CEN-CENELEC JTC 11), where the Commission and the JTC 11 Chair were presented the compromise solution found namely on contrast of signs on control devices and on braille.
Looking ahead, we have been invited to participate in a next WG7 meeting in July in London, which will focus on the concerns of visually impaired persons, where discussion will continue on other issues touch screens, communication interfaces for alarm systems, etc. These items will be discussed before a decision is taken whether they should be considered in the revision.
The problem is three-fold:
- WG 7 is treating many of the pending issues as new issues brought by the EBU position paper, whereas in fact they had already been raised by ANEC and rejected by majority;
- The composition of WG 7 is such that DPOs are always outvoted;
- The industry representatives in WG 7 (LB I would not personalise this criticism and delete and its chair) and its chair fail to see accessibility as a legal obligation the respect of which should be checked against the requirements of the standard for accessibility of the built environment (EN 17210).
EBU has been approached by the Federation of European Publishers to solicit our support of the approach they propose – that already undertaken by Fondazione LIA in Italy – as a role-model at EU level for ensuring the accessibility of e-books. Currently we still lack details on the FEP pilot-project to be able to support it openly, but it deserves our attention in that it appears to be mindful of participation of all stakeholders in the value chain.
On the occasion of World Book Day, EBU issued a statement highlighting the importance at this critical time, of access to books, and the importance of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.