Video on Accessibility: For Everyone's Benefit


EU Video . Today, 10% of the European population, that is at least 50 million people, must deal with a disability. For them, taking part in life in society is a real challenge. Initiatives favouring accessibility are therefore essential.

Nikolaus Van der Pas. Director General, Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, European Commission.

"We already have European Union legislation that bans the discrimination of disabled people in employment. I thing we should go further and extend that discrimination ban to the whole of society. In Spain, with the Provincial Federation of Associations of Physically Disabled People of Jaen, authorities from Jaen province chose the approach “design for all”.

Alfonso Huertas Marchal. Chairman of FEJIDIF, regional NGO, Jaen. 

"Accessibility benefits everybody. Even if accessibility goes unnoticed by people, they benefit from nonetheless. Everyone benefits from it. Accessibility creates comfortable spaces. In Linares, Spain, the city centre has been rethought for people with reduced mobility which also includes those with minor disabilities. This includes low curbs and access ramps for shops, some of which don’t have doors, which makes things easier for everyone. Here all buses are accessible for people in wheelchairs.

Coral Montilla Gonzalez

"I can go into many places that I couldn’t access before. I don”t need help now."

Now on to Warsaw, to Ruy Barbosa High School: Here, the school infrastructure allows access for disabled pupils. In this inclusive school, disabled and non-disabled pupils are mixed. This is an example of integration Kmiecik Pawet.

Student: "I feel like everyone else. I don’t sense any discrimination. This will certainly help me to be integrated in society".

Figures show that disabled children have less rigorous teaching and a lower level of education. The success of this project is in the diversity of pupils. Disabled or non-disabled students get to know each other better.

Wieslaw Wlodarski. Headmaster Ruy Barbosa High School

"The existence of integrated schools like ours changes the mentality of people, so that non-disabled graduates of these schools are later more likely to employ disabled people than if they hadn’t had this experience!"

In the Netherlands, Tom Hessels has a job and feels integrated, but still experiences small annoyances. He’s blind and couldn’t make payments through the Internet.

Tom Hessels: "Money matters are personal. We prefer to take care of them without outside help".

Now this possibility exists. Tom uses a vocal digipass. It gives him a code with access to a page accessible for all. Tom now manages his finances on his own.

Lisa Duarte de Figueiredo. Digital Manager, SNS Bank

"Offering these services online makes life easier for everyone. For a disabled person, that can simply mean that it is the way of accessing a service".

These examples show that everyone can reflect and act so that disabled people can do things that most of us take for granted.