The Commission has opted for a careful approach to integrating senior citizens and people with disabilities into the information society, favouring standardisation over regulation.

The United States introduced strong legislation in the 1980s to ensure that e-accessibility is a requirement for all procurements of IT equipment. Initially, the Commission also considered this to be a possible approach. However, the results of a public consultation held at the beginning of 2005 showed that 'soft legislation' using standardisation would be more appropriate. Europe-wide accessibility requirements would concern first of all public procurement, the biggest customer for IT equipment. This will, the Commission hopes, boost a wider market for easily accessible goods. 

E-accessibility concerns devices as well as software and services. 

The EU approach rests on three pillars: 

  • Accessibility requirements in public procurement: The revised directives on public procurement contain specific references to using 'Design for All' and accessibility requirements as possible selection criteria for tenders.
  • Certification and assessment: The Commission plans to set up a certification mechanism for accessible products and services.
  • Exploration of legal measures: Existing member states' and foreign legislation on accessibility will be examined. The introduction of appropriate measures may be part of a planned overhaul of e-accessibility legislation due in 2008. 

A set of complementary actions in the field of standardisation comprise: 

  • Increasing skills  on how to create e-Accessibility and how to avoid creating new barriers, and foster its translation into member states' law. 

  • Design for all: A widely known prerequisite for IT products, which is still not widely enough applied.  
  • Web accessibility for all online services of public interest will be assessed and certified according to the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Guidelines
  • Awareness-raising among key stakeholders.
  • Benchmarking and monitoring. The Commission will set targets for accessibility and monitor progress.
  • Research and technological development  on e-accessibility has already been an important element in the 5th and 6th Research Framework Programmes and will stay on the Commission's research agenda.