Professor Mark Priestley

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Accessibility and European Single Market: Business, Civil Society and Academia

Responsive Mode Impact Fund


In December 2015 the European Commission made proposals for a ‘European Accessibility Act’, to set new standards of design for information and communication technologies (ICTs) across the single market and making them more accessible to disabled people. EU-funded research led by Professors Mark Priestley and Anna Lawson t Leeds has contributed directly to these policy developments (with more than 20 references to their research in the legislative Impact Assessment). The accessibility of ICTs for disabled customers in the European single market was addressed also by Dr Jeva Eskyte in a Marie Curie early stage researcher fellowship (supervised by Professors Priestley and Lawson). The combined research demonstrated how national policy variation and novelty of the accessibility concept leads to tensions between stakeholders and barriers to effective market solutions. This project seeks to enhance the impact of change through constructive dialogue between academics, business and civil society acting in common purpose. This will involve a key stakeholder discussion and an open seminar jointly hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, the European Disability Forum, the Digital Technology and Innovation Policy Group of Digital Europe, and Microsoft.