Accessibility Policies on European, National, Regional, Local and Organisation Levels

Accessibility has become a must at all levels of government, administration and in organisations. Self-advocacy and independent living movement of people with disabilities and awareness of the growing number of people with disabilities in aging societies made accessibility an integral part of human rights, best expressed in art. 9 of the UN Convention of rights of persons with disabilities. The fast technical development and the recognition of personal requirements have to be accompanied by the development of adequate policies and legal frameworks for accessibility as well as their administrative implementation.There is a growing number of examples and models inviting to study and use them as a reference, e.g.: Canada (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act of 2005), Norway (Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act of 2008), Spain (Public-private partnership for accessibility of 2011), Paraguay (seven laws for accessibility standards of 2009-2015), United Arab Emirates (Dubai Universal Accessibility Strategy and Action Plan of 2017), Poland (Act on assuring accessibility for persons with specific needs of 2019), EU (Directive on the accessibility requirements for products and services of 2019).This process of establishing policies, legal frameworks and administrative measures of accessibility in digital societies asks for careful observation, reflection. research and support to answer the increasing amount of challenges as the following:

  • What is accessibility in a legal sense (how to define it)?
  • Who are users/beneficiaries of accessibility (how to name or describe them) and how to measure impact?
  • Who are the responsible/accountable stakeholders (in charge of implementing accessibility)?
  • How to involve the private sector following the legislative and administrative measures for the public sector?
  • What should be a format of policies?
  • How to finance accessibility investments and changes?
  • How to govern, coordinate and monitor accessibility, especially on high level?
  • How to execute accessibility implementation?
  • How to raise awareness and convince accessibility sceptics?
  • How to promote accessibility?
  • What are good or bad practices we can learn from?
  • What are the experiences of accessibility regulations pioneers?

This session invites all stakholders and actors to contribute and submit scientific studies, practice analysis and reports, positioin papers and ideas/concept notes. (PLEASE NOTE: This session in particular invites to submit papers both for the FORUM TRACK and the SCIENTIFIC TRACK. Both will be integrated in a comprehensive and session.)We encourage all parties researching, planning, discussing, reflecting, evaluating, legislating, implementing or executing accessibility policies at international, national, regional, local and organisational level to share their views, opinions and experience. COME AND GET INVOLVED!


  • Aleksander Waszkielewicz, Fronia - Foundation for Persons with Disabilities, Fundacja na Rzecz Osób z Niepełnosprawnościami
  • Anna Rozborska , FIRR - Institute for Regional Development Foundation, Fundacja Instytut Rozwoju Regionalnego

Contributions to a STS have to be submitted using the standard submission procedures of ICCHP.
When submitting your contribution please make sure to select the right STS under "Special Thematic Session". Contributions to a STS are evaluated by the Programme Committee of ICCHP and by the chair(s) of the STS. Please get in contact with the STS chairs for discussing your involvement and pre-evaluation of your contribution. Submission Deadline for Contributions to STSs: April 15, 2020