Final report published on action programme on accessibility of digital transport and communications services

Press release 31.03.2022 15.20 fi sv en

Man uses tablet at home. (Photo: Mika Pakarinen, Keksi / LVM)

The final report on the action programme on accessibility of digital transport and communication services was published on 31 March 2022. The purpose of the programme, which was completed in 2021, was to improve the accessibility of transport and communications services and to increase the awareness of the importance of accessibility.

In May 2017, the Ministry of Transport and Communications published an action programme addressed to its administrative branch called “Making digital transport and communication services accessible. Action Programme 2017–2021”. The programme has been implemented by the Ministry and Transport and Communications, the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, the Transport Infrastructure Agency and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The final report was drafted together with the agencies and the Meteorological Institute.

The programme was grouped under five headings:

1. Taking accessibility into account in the everyday work of the administrative branch of transport and communications.

2. Clarifying the legislation and updating the guidelines.

3. Improving the definition and availability of accessibility information and increasing awareness among providers of mobility services.

4. Making daily life easier for those who are not yet able to use e-services and are at risk of social exclusion.

5. Targeting the research of agencies at promoting the ease of use and accessibility of e-services and new media services, at developing new, increasingly accessible services and at experimentation with the help of the internet of things and robotisation.

Legislation was clarified and awareness increased

In total, the action programme contained 20 different measures. The primary goals were to clarify the legislation and to update the guidelines. During the term of the programme, the Ministry was responsible for preparing several legislative projects that included measures for improving accessibility or for assessing the impacts of the project on equality. In the course of the programme, the definition and availability of accessibility information as well as awareness of these matters among mobility service providers were improved.

The agencies focused on research and development activities related to digital services. For example, studies by Traficom explored ways to provide better opportunities for the elderly and people with reduced mobility to use digital transport services by means of automated vehicles and intelligent transport services. In future, the government agencies in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications should continue providing information about the alternative services for those not able to use e-services and thus at risk of social exclusion.

What's next?

As a follow-up plan, the Ministry of Transport and Communications appointed a working group in autumn 2021 to implement the accessibility measures of the national transport system plan. The aim is to improve the accessibility of not just the digital but also the physical services in transport and communications.

Together with Traficom, the Ministry is drawing up plans on how the authorities could monitor the accessibility of audiovisual content services. The monitoring would include the obligations for sound and subtitling, for example.

Inquiries:

Ministerial Adviser Mikael Åkermarck, tel. +358 40 053 3847, mikael.akermarck(at)gov.fi

Roosa Patrakka, Coordinator, tel. +358 50 431 7036, roosa.patrakka(at)gov.fi

Sakari Jarva, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 571 7932, sakari.jarva(at)gov.fi

Sini Wirén, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 507 0916, sini.wiren(at)gov.fi