24 November 2011

Ambassadors discuss instrument for people with reading disabilities

On the initiative of Egypt, Mexico and the United States, the Ambassadors to WIPO met with the World Blind Union (WBU) and the International Publishers Association (IPA) on Wednesday evening, 23 November. The meeting provided the two major stakeholders the opportunity to have an open conversation about the issues important to them on the proposed international instrument for limitations and exceptions for people who are blind or have a print disability.

The World Blind Union stated that the time for just raising awareness and discussing the background at WIPO is over. They demanded that it is time to finalise the instrument at the earliest possible time. WBU President Maryanne Diamond said "Given the large number present and the many questions and comments made, this was a successful event. The real test is in how the information gained is taken forward and used positively in the discussions at SCCR23 today and tomorrow."

IPA focused on the changing and development of technology which will address much of the solutions. They recognised that there is a need for limitations and exceptions to fully address the barriers faced by people who are blind or have a print disability.

Libraries are key players in the information chain for serving print disabled persons and IFLA is consequently very keen to see progress in the area of a binding treaty to remove copyright barriers which prevent blind, partially sighted, dyslexic and other “reading disabled” people from accessing books.

The feeling by many participants who attended this event was that it was extremely informative and provides a great basis to progress discussions and negotiations at SCCR.

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