Tuesday, June 11, 2013

People with print disabilities: Petition supports global access

The American Library Association (ALA) urges members to sign a petition asking the Obama administration to help ensure a global right to read for people with print disabilities.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is set to meet next week in Morocco. In recent email correspondence, the ALA declared its support for a copyright exception to a WIPO international treaty.

The purpose of the exception would be to increase access to information for people who are blind, have low vision, are dyslexic, have a learning disability or other disability that prevents them from accessing print.
“The exception would ask WIPO member nations to establish a national exception that authorizes the making of accessible copies. This exception would be similar to the Chafee Amendment (17 USC §121) in US copyright law. In addition, the exception would allow countries to share accessible copies (Braille, large print, digital formats like accessible e-books) across borders.”
As of June 11, the petition needed more than 89,000 signatures to reach its goal of 100,000 by June 22. In order to sign, advocates must have a whitehouse.gov account.

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