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Broadcasters, disability organisation draw up recommendation on future EU rules for audiovisual access

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Disability Forum (EDF), and the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) have made a common proposal to improve the accessibility of audiovisual media services for persons with disabilities.

Broadcasters and the umbrella organisation of the European disability movement reached this agreement upon the initiative of the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Petra Kammerevert, who is preparing the European Parliament’s report on the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

EDF, EBU and ACT (the “signatories”) expect these measures to enhance the accessibility of TV programs for persons with disabilities, in particular via subtitles for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, audio description, spoken subtitles and sign language interpretation, also known as access services.

The common proposal aims to improve existing wording on audiovisual accessibility under Article 7 of the 2010 Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), which EU legislators are currently reviewing. A large number of stakeholders and EU decision-makers have highlighted the need to maintain and develop the AVMSD’s provisions on access services.

MEP Petra Kammerevert (S&D, DE), newly elected Chair of the Culture Committee and co-rapporteur on the European Parliament’s report on the Directive, must be credited for her encouragement to stakeholders to work together and for kick starting initial discussions. Signatories call on Members of the Parliament and Council to support this proposal in their ongoing discussions towards a finalised text.