The European Parliament adopted today the “Report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with special regard to the Concluding Observations of the UN CRPD Committee”.
The report asks the European Commission and the Member States to ensure that the common European emergency number 112 is fully accessible to people with disabilities, especially the deaf and hard-of-hearing, reliable and using state-of-the-art technology.
Paragraph 49: [The European Parliament] Calls on the Commission, together with the Member States, to ensure that the EU-wide 112 emergency number is fully accessible and reliable, using state-of-the-art technology at national level and when roaming, in particular for deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens, thereby preventing unnecessary deaths and injuries; highlights the need for implementing measures at national level, inter alia to ensure compatibility across Member States, including accessible national emergency points;
Moreover, paragraph 50 calls for 112 and Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to be made accessible to patients with disabilities and their carers.
Paragraph 50: [The European Parliament] Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that electronic and mobile health services, applications and devices, including the 112 emergency number, which must be easy to use anywhere in Europe, and the advanced mobile location (AML) system, are fully accessible to patients with disabilities and their respective carers, and to further exploit the potential of telemedicine to improve access and care in this context;
EENA congratulates the European Parliament and the Rapporteur of the report, Ms. Helga Stevens, for drawing attention to the issue of accessibility to emergency services.
Equal access to 112 has been a requirement for Member States for many years (Art. 26.4 of the 2009 Universal Service Directive, or USD), but the latest official data published by the European Commission show that this is not the case.
Bulgaria, Greece and Slovakia do not provide any access to 112 for deaf people, and other countries allow for very limited access, such as only via fax.
We ask the countries that are not compliant with the Universal Service Directive to ensure equal access to 112 for all their citizens. EENA also calls on the European Commission to make sure that legislation of the European Union is effectively enforced.
- You can view the report here;
- EENA's reply to the Public Consultation on draft BEREC Report on equivalent access and choice for disabled end-users is available here;
- Report on the " Implementation of the European emergency number 112" is available here;
- 2009 Universal Service Directive, available here.