Australia signs treaty to increase print access for blind and vision impaired

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 15:31pm

On 23 June 2014, the Australian Government signed the ‘Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled’.

Last year, 51 countries signed the treaty, which will give blind and vision impaired people greater access to works in accessible formats like braille and audio. Currently, due to copyright restrictions, only between 1 and 7 percent of the world’s published books are made available in these formats. On 24 April, World Book Day, Maryann Diamond, General Manager of Advocacy and Engagement at Vision Australia, said, “On behalf of Vision Australia, I urge the Australian Government to ensure Australia takes a leading role in ending the book famine by signing and ratifying this important treaty.”

Now that the Government has signed the treaty, it will work to bring it forward for ratification by the Federal Parliament.


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