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Dutch City Wins International Accessibility Award

Dutch City Wins International Accessibility Award

The Dutch city of Breda has won a prestigious award for its efforts to improve accessibility for disabled people.

The Access City Award, which in 2017 was won by Chester in England, is awarded by the European Commission. It is presented at the yearly European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference, which is attended by around 400 participants coming from all over Europe. This year there were 52 entrants.

At the award ceremony, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen said: “Too often, people with disabilities feel isolated because they cannot access public spaces or transport. In Breda, public places such as parks and stores are accessible to everyone. Digital technologies ensure that all citizens can get around using public transport. And Breda’s investments pay off. Tourism is thriving thanks to the city’s commitment to inclusion. In the near future, the European Accessibility Act will complement Breda’s efforts by setting European accessibility standards for key products and services. Our combined efforts at local and European level are a game changer for the more than 80 million Europeans with disabilities.”

This article shows the ways in which Breda has attempted to improve access and provides a lesson and a model for Sheffield and other British cities to aspire to.

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