EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR EQUAL ACCESS TO ‘112’ FOR THE DISABLED

The European Parliament is calling on the European Commission and 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.

The European Parliament has adopted its latest 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.

Paragraph 50 in the report calls for ‘112’ and Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to be made accessible to patients with disabilities and their carers.

The European Emergency Number Association (EENA) has congratulated the European Parliament for drawing attention to the issue of accessibility to emergency services. Equal access to ‘112’ has been a requirement for EU Member States for many years, 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 the ‘112’ emergency number for deaf people, while other countries allow for very limited access, such as only via fax.

The EENA is now asking those 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 ensure that legislation of the European Union is effectively enforced.

For further information and updates visit www.eena.org