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E-accessibility means overcoming the technical barriers and difficulties that people with disabilities and others like elderly people experience when trying to participate on equal terms in the information society1. It potentially concerns any type of information and communication technology (ICT) used by citizens. Full e-accessibility is a huge challenge, as there is a wide range of disabilities and ICTs are constantly and rapidly evolving.

It is also about encouraging such people to use ICT and the Internet, making them aware of the prospects the latter can open up for them.

E-accessibility make it possible for the web portal of “ESF actions Implementation Authority” to ensure "the non-discrimination principle", which is applicable through the facilitation of the access to information for the “underprivileged groups” of population and especially for the disabled and elderly people, using advanced techniques.

"The non-discrimination principle" is primarily based on article 19 of the "Treaty on the functioning of the European Union", which provides the legal basis for community action "to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation".

Furthermore, this principle is specialized on the one hand

  • by the EU directive 2000/78/EC, which establishes a general framework for the fight against all types of discrimination in employment and occupation, and on the other hand
  • by article 16 of the Structural Funds’ General Regulation (EC) 1083/2006.

Article 16 of the Regulation prohibits discrimination in the implementation and access to the     Funds on the basis of gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. Moreover, it requires that “accessibility for disabled persons shall be one of the criteria to be observed in defining operations co-financed by the Funds and to be taken into account during the various stages of implementation”.

The non-discrimination principle and the e-accessibility have incorporated in the strategy, the objectives and the priorities of the “Human Resources Development” Operational Programme.

Within this framework the portal is in a process of developing a number of specific features and techniques, which prevent any discrimination related to disabled people. It gives the opportunity to visually impaired as well as to elderly people to have equivalent access to information and communication technologies as well as to be informed about European Social Fund (ESF) and the implementation of ESF co-financed actions.

For the time being, in every page of the portal are applicable techniques which provide to the visitor options of changing the fond size as well as the presentation theme in order to increase the readability of the web-pages for people who face visual problems.

Finally, the portal is supported by a powerful Content Management System tool, which is based on state of the art technologies able to meet the specifications related to the initiative "i-2010 - A European Information Society for growth and employment".

1 COM(2005)425 on e-accessibility

Related websites:

Related Documents
21/01/2010 e-ACCESSIBILITY

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