Defend digital accessibility not only as a driver of inclusion, but as an inalienable human right. Facilitate the creation of an accessible physical and digital world, supported by a clear and coherent regulatory context, to prevent new forms of discrimination from being fueled every day. In fact, although digital accessibility is legally mandatory, the current panorama is still unsatisfactory and contradictory. This is why we must aim for the full transposition of the “European Accessibility Act”, which promotes total accessibility for all products and services. This is the “mission” of “Manifesto for full digital accessibility”an idea launched by the president of FISH (Italian Federation for overcoming handicaps) Vincenzo Falabella, addressed to “political leaders, pillars of industry and citizens of Italy”, on the occasion of the workshop organized by AccessiWay by title “2025 Accessibility and citizenship. Digital in organisations; inclusive ecosystems and processes. The right opportunity to gather industry experts and draw a realistic assessment, looking at a common path that can finally provide adequate responses to the needs felt by over 15% of the world’s population.
Digital accessibility, the numbers
Digital accessibility is an essential right often denied to over a billion people around the world with disabilities and specific needs. Just around 3% of the web is truly accessible, while around 90% of websites are not adapted to assistive technologies. These are some numbers that illustrate a hardship, first of all the denial of a right, which in Italy damages over 13 million citizens who are prevented from accessing the digital world on a daily basis. According to the most recent data, in our country there are 2 million people with visual impairment, over 3 million people with significant functional limitations, 2.5 million people with color blindness, 500 thousand people with epilepsy, 3 million people with DSA, while among adolescents approximately 7% have a diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). In Italy, according to a study conducted by AccessiWay, there are very few sites, mobile applications and digital documents capable of meeting 100% of the requirements for complete access for people with disabilities.
The Minister for Disabilities underlined the importance of digital accessibility, Alessandra Locatelli, in the greeting video message sent on the occasion of the workshop: “This is a current, very important topic, especially for the many people with disabilities who enter training courses, the world of work, but also in the recreational time of daily life. It is a theme that will have to find a lot of space in the future also with regards to the life project, because to keep some dimensions together, to give everyone the possibility of being able to move, move, communicate, it is very important that we always try to advance in this sector, today more than ever”.
For Mario Nobile, general director of the Agency for Digital Italy (Agid), “promoting digital accessibility also means creating the maximum possible inclusion. Agid is pushing to make all the actors involved understand that improving their digital services means achieving civility objectives, meeting the commitments of the European Agenda 2030, but also increasing their business. For this reason we certainly need to work on sanctioning and verification mechanisms but we need to work on the cultural channel to start a real turning point in this sector”.
It was the one who presented the manifesto Edoardo Arnello, CEO AccessiWay: “Having the voice of an important government agency like Agid, as well as the major institutions and associations in the sector, can only have been good for the entire digital panorama. What we have launched today is a very important step for the entire community of people with disabilities: the “manifesto on full digital accessibility” is a document that we make available to everyone, public and private, to make people understand how important it is to guarantee full usability of digital tools. There cannot be anyone in the coming years who will be denied the right to full participation in daily life.”
Appreciation for the AccessiWay manifesto came from Vincenzo Falabella, national president of Fish (Italian Federation for overcoming handicaps): “In recent years we have worked so that people with disabilities are no longer considered as sick people and digital accessibility is a fundamental element to overcome some elements of stigma that they are still present in our society. We need to pool all digital skills to achieve the maximum level of accessibility. A lot of work needs to be done, especially in some areas of the country that do not yet have adequate coverage.”
An appeal accepted by the institutions, as evidenced by the speech of the Honourable Luciano Ciocchettivice president of the Social Affairs Commission of the Chamber, who launched the proposal to create a parliamentary intergroup for digital accessibility: “AccessiWay could play a role of coordination and scientific technical support and the work of the intergroup could play a push role for institutions at all levels to ensure that the European deadlines we have as a country can be carried forward and respected to fill the gap in the shortest possible time”.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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