European society has a vision of extending equal opportunities to all citizens, including those with physical disabilities and/or learning difficulties. This is becoming increasingly important due to the growth in the population with age related disabilities as a result of increased longevity, in particular hearing and vision loss. In younger people increasing exposure to high volume noise is leading to hearing loss. There are three different types of barriers to equal opportunities: attitudinal ones resulting in prejudice and discrimination, inaccessible infrastructure and physiological barriers resulting from the nature of the disability. Technological aids and assisting devices are vital in overcoming the physiological barriers and the barriers due to inaccessible infrastructure and giving people with disabilities the psychological confidence and physical support to live and work independently. Other measures will be required to change attitudes and overcome prejudice and discrimination.