Paris, 7 January 2011
The universal service directive that was amended by the adoption of the new Telecom package of 25 November 2009 went a long way to strengthening the guarantees given to people with disabilities. They must have both equivalent access and the same choices as those available to other electronic communication service users.
For people who are hearing impaired, the creation of dedicated relay centres should, in principle, help to achieve this objective of equivalence incumbent on Member States, once these centres are no longer used only to connect callers to emergency services and have long enough working hours.
Thanks to this report commissioned from the firm Advention Business Partners, ARCEP, the AGEFIPH (Association de gestion du fonds pour l'insertion professionnelle des personnes handicapées), an association for helping disabled people find employment in the private sector, and the FIPHFP (Fonds pour l'insertion des personnes handicapées dans la fonction publique), which helps disabled people find work in the public sector, now have detailed information on the needs of people who are deaf or hearing impaired, on the scale of demand and on the costs and issues tied to the creation of these centres. The report also includes a detailed international benchmark.
In a bid to ensure transparency and keep the public informed, ARCEP, the AGEFIPH and the FIPHFP have decided to make this report public. Responsibility for the methodology employed and the findings lie solely with the authors of the report, and in no way constitute commitments from the Authority or from the AGEFIPH or the FIPHFP