A UN forum forum in Marrakesh , Morocco has adopted a historic treaty to expand access to books for visually impaired.
The treaty was approved by negotiators at a United Nations-backed forum after more than a week of intense debate among negotiators meeting under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
It is the culmination of years of work on improving access for the blind, visually impaired, and print-disabled persons to published works in formats such as Braille, large print text and audio books.
“This treaty is a victory for the blind, visually impaired and print disabled, but also for the multilateral system,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 314 million blind and visually impaired persons in the world, 90 per cent of whom live in developing countries.
However, the World Blind Union estimates that of the million or so books published worldwide every year, less than five per cent are made available in formats accessible to visually impaired persons.