European Union working on new disability plan

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The European Commission unveiled in November a 10-year strategy for breaking down barriers for people with disabilities.

According to a European Commission news release, the strategy includes plans to open and standardize the European market for assistive technologies. It also aims to ensure that people with disabilities have access to voting booths and other elements of the political process. This includes providing communication in sign language or Braille for the deaf in political matters.

Other high priorities are to improve working conditions for people with disabilities and increase funding for personal assistance programs.

The plan would move the European Union closer to its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which it signed in 2007. The U.S. signed the treaty in 2009.