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EU Commission: disability, Access City Award to Swedish Skelleftea

The Swedish city of Skellefteå received the 2023 Access City Award today “in recognition of its long-term commitment and innovative approach to enhancing accessibility for persons with disabilities”. Accessibility “is included in all Skellefteå’s plans”, the EU Commission explained in a statement, which ensures that “public spaces such as playgrounds and streets are equipped with tactile information signs and ground heating, so as to ensure that snow and ice are not an impediment”. The city’s central park and adjacent river area have tactile paths and maps, seating, and an outdoor elevator. A SMS service for blind and partially sighted persons provides information on road construction and potential obstacles across the city. “Public buses are also fully accessible thanks to low floors, ramps, text screens, and audio announcements”. Skellefteå offers young people with intellectual disabilities “training to explore technology and ways of working to help them lead an independent adult life”. The Awards were presented today by Vice-President Věra Jourová and Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, on the occasion of the 2022 edition of the European Day of Persons with Disabilities Conference, jointly organised by the European Commission and the European Disability Forum. The Spanish city of Córdoba and Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana were awarded the second and third place prizes.

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