Skip to main content
Brussels Capital-Region - Homepage

Disability and accessibility

To protect the rights and freedoms of people with disabilities, is setting up a handiplan policy. This implements the Handiplan of the Brussels Capital Region. It also means that all ministers or secretaries of state pay attention to the rights of persons with disabilities within the scope of their powers.

Numerous Brussels residents have a physical or mental disability and often experience difficulties in terms of housing, mobility or work, or even just getting information.

To protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of these disabled people, is setting up a handistreaming policy. 

That policy aims to remove environment-related barriers to inclusion that push people with disabilities to the margins of society or prevent them from participating fully or at all in social life.

In this respect, due attention is paid to accessibility in the living environment. It must be pleasant and accessible to everyone, both physically (infrastructure, services, etc.) and digitally (websites and applications).

Handistreaming, what is that?

The regional handi-streaming policy gives concrete form to the Handiplan and handi-streaming charter (*). This policy is based on the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It aims to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities by removing barriers in the environment that hinder their fundamental rights and freedoms.

To give handi-streaming concrete form in the region, the Collectif Accessibilité Wallonie-Bruxelles supervised eight pilot projects in 2018-2019, one for each member of the government. This culminated in the April 2019 manual 'How to implement a handi-streaming policy in my administration'.

In addition to these pilot projects, handi-streaming means that every minister or secretary of state must pay special attention to the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. Minister or secretaries of state must allocate the necessary resources (including their own budget) for their powers and projects to remove barriers that prevent citizens without and with disabilities from participating equally in cultural, social and professional life.

Handi-streaming must therefore now be systematically implemented in all regional competencies, including joining forces between different actors - including federal and community actors - for greater coherence and transversality.

(*) The Handi Plan was adopted by the Brussels-Capital Government, the governments of the Common Community Commission and the French Community in July 2015. The Handiplan charter was signed by the same governments on 3 December 2015 on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.


Download the Plan for the integration of Handi-streaming in governemental policies 022-2025

Brussels Council for Persons with Disabilities

The Brussels Council for Persons with Disabilities was established by the Handicap Ordinance and its implementing decree. Particular attention was paid here to the representation and participation of civil society in this council, through the representative associations for people with disabilities, according to the principle of the UN convention `Nothing about us without us'.

The council is composed of three members from three advisory bodies in the Region (COCOF, GGC - now Iriscare - VGC), five handicapped experts from civil society and a representative of Unia.

It plays a role in drafting and monitoring legislation and its implementation.

This council's ambition is to leverage the rights of all persons living in Brussels, including people with disabilities, by actively participating in decisions that may affect them.

Thus, this council is tasked with formulating opinions and recommendations on all issues relating to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Brussels-Capital Region (giving priority to those opinions that relate to regulatory measures) as well as following up on these issues at other levels of competence, and this insofar as it affects the Brussels-Capital Region.

Accessibility, what is it?

According to the accessibility principle, an environment should be provided where everyone can fully enjoy life autonomously and equally, and everyone should be able to participate in social life like any other citizen. Such an environment is a fundamental right and also necessary for the integral inclusion of everyone in society. Accessibility is therefore a fundamental principle of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Belgium ratified on 2 July 2009.

But accessibility does not only concern persons with disabilities. It is also a priority for senior citizens, children, persons with temporary disabilities (with a plaster cast on their leg, etc.), persons using a wheelchair for shopping or a pram, pregnant women, etc.

This is why the Brussels-Capital Region pursues an active accessibility policy, which continues to shape.

Digital accessibility

Not only the physical, but also the digital environment falls under the accessibility principle: websites and applications must be accessible to everyone - including people with disabilities. Even more so: since the entry into force of the European Directive on website accessibility (dd 22/12/2016), this is a legal obligation, by the way. This directive applies to websites and mobile applications of public institutions (courts, police forces, public hospitals, universities, libraries)

The administrations and administrations of the Brussels Capital Region also had to adapt their websites to ensure that any user has equivalent access to information. helps ensure effective digital accessibility:

  • In 2018, organised an awareness-raising campaign for the Brussels public services to inform them of their new legal obligations in terms of digital accessibility and also of the resources in place to help them make their sites and applications accessible:
  • In 2018-2019, equal worked with AnySurfer to organise training modules for the players involved (technicians in charge of website(s), web developers and strategy, copyrighters, graphic designers, IT units, dircom ... ) depending on the participants' profiles. 

A brochure entitled "Digital accessibility: websites for everyone" has also been produced, containing advice on creating accessible content on the web and links to relevant resources.

Project calls for accessibility and disability

Every year, funds Brussels-based associations wishing to improve accessibility to their events. Does your organisation have an accessibility project in the works?

Logo equal