Telecommunications facilities for disabled persons - UKE

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Telecommunications facilities for disabled persons

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2014-10-09
Orzeczenie Sądu1_160_120
The Ordinance of the Minister of Administration and Digitization imposing  the obligation to provide facilities for disabled persons on providers of publicly available telephone services is entering into force. 

 

On 10 October, the Ordinance of the Minister of Administration and Digitization of 26 March 2014 on detailed requirements relating to the provision of facilities for disabled persons by the providers of publicly available telephone services, issued based on Article 79c (3) of the Telecommunications Act, entered into force.

The amendment of the Telecommunications Act of 16 July 2004 (consolidated text in the Journal of Laws of 2014, item 243, hereinafter referred to as the TA) imposed on all providers of publicly available telephone services the obligation to provide disabled end users, subject to technical capabilities, with access to services which is equivalent to that used by the majority of end users. Previously, the obligation to provide facilities for disabled persons was imposed only on the undertaking designated to provide services comprising universal service.

New provisions of the Ordinance govern, inter alia, the following issues:

  • ensuring in a given service provider's unit the handling of services for disabled users at a counter equipped with appropriate devices;
  • making available in the given service providers' units information on all facilities for disabled persons or general conditions of an agreement for the provision of publicly available telecommunications services, the relevant template, the tariffs for telecommunications services and the rules and regulations for the provision of publicly available telecommunications services - in an unambiguous, easy and comprehensive manner, drafted on paper using large fonts and electronically in a text format on the Internet website;
  • submitting at each request of a subscriber who is a disabled person information on services offered by that service provider, all facilities for disabled persons, in paper or electronically to an electronic mail address made available by the subscriber for this purpose, with the reservation that information for blind or partially sighted persons should be drafted on paper using the Braille alphabet or large fonts, and if sent electronically, using a text format.
  • the providers' offers should include handsets (and other terminal equipment) adapted to the needs of disabled persons (the Ordinance lays down relevant equipment parameters);
  • the service provider has to provide assistance in appropriate configuration of a device or a telephone service;
  • public pay phones should be adapted to the needs of disabled persons.

In addition, within 24 months of the Ordinance publication, the websites of telephone service providers should be adapted to the needs of disabled persons, in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.0 standard.

The full text of the Ordinance is available in the attached file.

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Facilitating access to telephone services for disabled users (by means of legislative amendments and cooperation with telecommunications undertakings and organizations representing the interests of people with disabilities) is promoted by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Resolution 58 on access to information and communication technology for persons with disabilities adopted during the World Telecommunication Development Conference.
It encourages Member States to implement appropriate domestic legislation facilitating the use of ICTs by disabled persons.

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    INTRODUCTION
    The President of the Office of Electronic Communications (President of UKE) is the national regulatory authority for the market of telecommunications and postal services. The President of UKE is also the specialised authority in the area of equipment conformity assessment, including telecommunications terminal equipment and radio equipment.

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    INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY
    Here you can find information about the most import ant international events, significant for the development of telecommunications and postal markets In Poland and for the statutory activity of the Office of Electronic Communications.
    International activity of the President of UKE consists of, inter alia, cooperation with the European Commission, other EU institutions and Regulatory Authorities of EU Member State. It includes also the cooperation within organizations of which UKE is a member, i.e. the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Body for European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the European Committee for Postal Regulation (CERP).


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