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profoundly yours the abledbody blog

Despite efforts by blind advocacy groups, the U.S. has sided against a World Intellectual Property Organization treaty agreement that would make books accessible to more blind and visually impaired individuals, as well as those with dyslexia or physical disabilities, throughout the world. The Obama administration, the governments of Canada and the European Union, and several other countries have opposed this initiative, which was introduced by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay and supported by many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in Asia and Africa. Other supporters include the World Blind Union, the National Federation of the Blind, Bookshare and Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, among others advocacy groups. Proposal advocates want to expand a U.S. copyright exemption to allow books to be distributed in alternative formats — such as text-to-speech, Braille and large type — to blind and visually impaired individuals around the world. The treaty would have ... keep reading »
A blind blogger has started a letter-writing campaign asking President Obama to support global access to books for the blind and visually impaired. Darrell Shandrow, a technical support engineer who is the editor of Blind Access Journal, is petitioning the White House to direct U.S. delegates in the World Intellectual Property Organization to sign an international treaty that would expand U.S. copyright exemptions to blind and other people with print disabilities in the rest of the world. People with visual impairments are able to purchase “talking” versions of print books under a copyright exemption called 17 USC Section 121 that allows certain authorized organizations to make books accessible without the constant need to obtain written permission from publishers. Organizations include The National Library Service for the Blind (NLS) and Physically Handicapped, Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D), Bookshare and ReadHowYouWant. Visually impaired persons can “read” these books on a digital e-book ... keep reading »

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