On 1st June the 2017 edition of the European Award for Accessible Cities was launched. The Access City Award is organised by the European Commission together with the European Disability Forum. Awards are given to cities that are accessible to disabled and older people. EU cities with over 50,000 inhabitants are invited to submit their applications by 8th September 2016 (midnight Brussels time).
Criteria for good accessibility are: access to public and private areas such as housing, children’s play areas, work environments, public transport, and communication technologies.
In December 2015, on the occasion of the European Day for People with Disabilities, the European Commission gave Milan (Italy) the 2016 Access City Award. Wiesbaden (Germany), Toulouse (France), Vaasa (Finland) and Kaposvár (Hungary) were also awarded for their efforts to improve accessibility for disabled and older people.
This year, awards will be granted to five EU cities at a ceremony taking place during the annual European Day of People with Disabilities Conference in Brussels, on 29 November 2016.
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: "One in six Europeans live with a disability. Last year the Commission put forward the European Accessibility Act to step up social inclusion and independent living of people with disabilities. Many innovative practices developed by European cities to achieve accessible living and working environments are also important drivers to improve accessibility. To showcase these best practices and to inspire urban development in Europe, I encourage as many cities as possible to apply for the 2017 Access City Award."
ENIL encourages disabled people who would like to nominate their city for the 2017 Access City Award to contact their local authority and come forward with a nomination.
REHACARE.com; Source: European Network on Independent Living (ENIL)