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Accessibility of communications services

All electronic services of social and commercial importance or that are important for the fluent running of everyday life must be made accessible so that they are also available for people with disabilities and for older people.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has drawn up an action programme for the promotion of accessibility in the information society, covering the years 2011-2015. The Ministry is also involved, for example, in preparing the Disability Policy Programme and is engaged in EU cooperation.

What is accessibility?

  • Accessibility refers to the measures and devices which guarantee citizens the opportunity to work, study, pursue a hobby and participate, irrespective of their age, gender, state of health, ethnic background and social, mental or physical capabilities.
  • Accessibility to communication services, such as telephone, television, radio and internet means that these devices and services are easily available and easy to use for as many people as possible.
  • Reviewing the accessibility requirements of services and devices is an established part of Finnish communications policy.

Accessibility and legislation

The Constitution of Finland guarantees the inviolability of human dignity and the individual's freedom and rights, and promotes fairness in society. More specific provisions on accessibility to television services are provided in the Act on Television and Radio Operations.

In addition, the European Union's framework directive on electronic communications, as well as the universal service directives, regulate questions of availability and accessibility related to certain communications services.