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EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF COCHLEAR IMPLANT USERS a.s.b.l.

Accessible emergency communication for persons with disabilities: a requirement to save lives

The Council’s proposal to exclude Public Safety Answering Points (centres answering emergency calls) from the upcoming European Accessibility Act will keep millions of persons with disabilities at risk. The above organisations call on the Council of the EU to accept mandatory and common accessibility requirements for services handling emergency calls. We have the right to call for help!

If Member States fail to deliver, the lives of those that cannot communicate orally, and of more than 52 million deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind European citizens as well as the people that surround them will continue to be put at risk. Countless other persons will also be affected as everyone can find themselves in a situation where they are unable to call emergency services using oral communication, e.g. being unable to speak or hear after an accident or to speak because it would put their safety at risk, such as during a burglary. In short, all Europeans will immensely benefit from enhanced accessible ways to contact emergency services.

Read more about the join statement EDF (European Disability Forum), EURO-CIU and other organizations have prepared to call on the EU institutions, and especially the Council, to adopt our proposed amendment in the European Accessibility Act to ensure end-to-end accessibility of emergency services. This will literally save lives.