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Accessibility refers to the design of the built environment, as well as to information, communication, etc., so that it can be used and perceived by anyone without additional help.

Accessibility therefore means that buildings and public spaces, workplaces and housing, transport and utensils, services and leisure facilities are designed to be accessible to all without outside help. Specifically, accessibility means that not only steps, but also a lift or a ramp lead to the town hall, that forms are not in complicated official language, but also in easy language, and that even deaf people can pursue a lecture. In addition, the definition must also take digital accessibility into consideration. This means that websites must be designed so that everyone can use them.

Accessibility is useful for all: people with and without disabilities, elderly, children, parents and people that are limited in their mobility only temporary. So an elevator helps parents with buggies, elderly and handicapped people alike. And what people with learning difficulties need - namely texts in easy language or with illustrations - also many others benefit from: people who speak very little English, who can not or hardly read or are unfamiliar with the respective place.

In 2006, the United Nations adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which aims at promotion, protection and ensuring full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities. This includes full accessibility, participation in public and cultural life, personal mobility and independent living. In the same year, the Council of Europe published the "Council of Europe Action Plan to promote the rights and full participation of disabled people in society", with the aim of preventing people with disabilities from being seen as objects of care but as equal and eligible citizens.

With this a a fundamental shift in thinking started that does not primarily understands people with special access needs as group for special treatments, but creates offers that are usable and accessible FOR ALL, regardless of whether people have special access needs or not.

This rethinking also applies to the leisure and tourism sector. Tourism is a first-rate social commodity that must be accessible to all citizens without excluding people, regardless of personal, social, economic or other circumstances.

As the European Union became the 97th contractual partner of the UN Disability Rights Convention in 2011, the EU developed programs to create a barrier-free Europe till 2020 for the approximately 80 million Europeans with disabilities. Special attention is given to the fact that disabled people can enjoy their right to spend their free time and travel without restrictions.