In the past few years, creating an accessible Public Administration to all citizens has become a matter of priority. In fact, disabled citizens are finally integrated into most public services: with the activation of accessible websites and mobile applications, institutional and organizational functions are now able to be considered inclusive.
Accessible Administration: What Europe Asks For
The Accessibility Act
In 2015, the Accessibility Act was issued by the European Union. This regulatory act prevents and removes the barriers that prevent the free flow of products and services accessible to disabled people. This directive, aimed primarily at companies, improves the use of the internal market by guaranteeing equal access to initiatives all thanks to a Europe without barriers.
…and Public Entities?
With the EU Directive 2016/2102, the European Parliament and Council have the power to dictate the Member States measures relating to the adaption of websites and mobile apps in public bodies. These measures must be applied and in practice within the two year period, 2019-2021, and also include the promotion of accessibility training programs for public bodies.
Good Practices for an Accessible Public Administration
It is fairly easy to find exemplary cases in this regard. From the individual Administrations themselves that decide to adopt innovative solutions capable of aiding public functions in a new and more inclusive way, to events that bring together the various bodies in the field. They all offer incentives for open discussion and growth.
In Italy for the past 30 years, Forum PA has coordinated an event for all the subjects regarding Public Administration and supporting the collaboration between companies and research networks. The purpose of this event -which lasts 4 days but organizes events and other initiatives throughout the year- is to promote the modernization of Public Administration, encouraging innovation and promoting useful actions to make citizen services equal and inclusive for all.
Pedius for an Accessible Public Administration
At the end of 2016, the Civil Protection of Rome began a collaboration with Pedius to allow all deaf citizens to report emergencies, for example: in cases of fire, flooding, or an accident. In fact, now with the Pedius app, primary security services are finally accessible to everyone.