July 6th will be remembered as a massive day in the lives of the visually impaired community with the EU (and many other nations) ratification of the 2013 Marrakesh Treaty or to give it it’s full title,
The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (MVT)
It is the latest addition to the body of international copyright treaties administered by WIPO-The World Intellectual Property Organisation.
It has a clear humanitarian and social development dimension and its main goal is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled (VIPs).
Eirik Moseng, Conspexit Founder & CEO/CTO says: "It requires Contracting Parties to introduce a standard set of limitations and exceptions to copyright rules in order to permit reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in formats designed to be accessible to VIPs, and to permit exchange of these works across borders by organizations that serve those beneficiaries."
The Treaty clarifies that beneficiary persons are those affected by a range of disabilities that interfere with the effective reading of printed material. The broad definition includes persons who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled or persons with a physical disability that prevents them from holding and manipulating a book.
Eirik Moseng adds: "The importance of access to written language is beyond dispute. Children’s cognitive development benefits enormously from continuous interaction with books, magazines, signage and even advertising, and it is right and fair that ‘print disabled’ children have equal opportunities through content in accessible formats."
Conspexit is currently prototyping and designing an application that will personally assist people with a visual impairment to gain greater independent mobility, but we’ve also taken on another challenge; raising awareness around sight loss and celebrating common sense initiatives such as this to open up the world of literature to millions of sight-loss individuals.
Here’s two from our team at The RNIB Head Office in London with a personal Braille favourite of theirs!