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Braille: clear commitment for Braille labelling of industrial products.

Braille: clear commitment for Braille labelling of industrial products.

2011. 06. 24.

The objective of the initiative is to provide – initially on a voluntary basis – equal access for information of all industrial products for the 30 million blind and partially-sighted people thus making their lives more barrier-free. If we don't do this, we cannot provide real independence, real safety and real choice, neither ensure human dignity and equal opportunities for the blind and partially-sighted.

The Written Declaration calls on the European Commission to launch a wide-scale consultation with all stakeholders on the benefits, efficiency and feasibility of introducing a voluntary system of labelling in Braille format on the packaging of industrial products at Community level. The packaging should present information on the type of product, facilitating access for consumers with visual disabilities. Furthermore, alternative ways of enabling access to information should also be examined for those people who cannot read Braille.

Messrs Poupakis and Kósa, who were working closely together on this issue with the European Blind Union (EBU), the biggest stakeholder of blind and partially-sighted people in Europe, underlined: "However, shopping is normally an everyday activity, for blind and partially-sighted people it presents enormous challenges. We fully support the idea that blind and partially-sighted people have the right to an independent life and full participation in society. We believe that the initiative will lay the foundations for further and immediate action towards this direction as soon as possible."

"Therefore, it is now time to move from words to deeds; the European Commission should strengthen the EU legislative framework while industries could take advantage of both consumers' satisfaction and the subsequent rise in their overall profit", they added.