On June 30th, 2016 the 20th country (Canada) ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities, which extends the same access to literature and information for print disabled persons that non-print disabled persons already enjoy.

The treaty will enter into force in three months, on September 30th, and then millions of blind and partially sighted persons will be able to access literature and educational materials, enabling them to better participate in all aspects of their society.

To learn more about the Marrakesh Treaty as well as what you can do to encourage your government to ratify the treaty, visit the World Blind Union’s Campaign page: http://www.worldblindunion.org/ English/our-work/our-priorities/Pages/right-2-read-campaign.aspx

In 2014, the Zero Project highlighted India’s Copyright exception for accessible formats, as copyright constitutes one of the most challenging barriers in the access to information of persons with sensory impairments. Among the 50 countries with copyright exemptions, India’s approach stands out as it is inclusive and non-bureaucratic, catering to the needs of persons with disabilities living in the Global South.

Recently, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Blind Union – Asia Pacific published jointly “Our right to knowledge: Legal reviews for the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities in Asia and the Pacific“. The report is intended to facilitate policy dialogue, legal reforms and community engagement in the Asia-Pacific region with respect to efforts to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty and ensure that those with disabilities can realize their rights guaranteed in international law.