11 October 2016
Source: The European Coalition for Vision
The European Coalition for Vision (ECV) has warmly endorsed the Marrakesh Treaty on accessible reading materials and congratulated the World Blind Union and World Intellectual Property Organization on their campaign to get all countries to ratify the treaty.
The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled received the support of 20 countries, enabling it to be adopted on 30 September 2016. However the European Union and individual member states are still seeking to resolve whether the EU can ratify the treaty on behalf of all member states or whether each member state needs to ratify it separately.
Speaking for the Coalition, ECV Chair David Hewlett said: “Books open windows on the world for everyone, so this is an issue of equality and fairness. We urge our European governments to ratify the treaty with the minimum of delay. We are delighted to highlight and support the Treaty as the ECV, along with other champions for eye health and equality around the world, promotes World Sight Day this Thursday, 13 October.”
Bob Chappell, ECV member for the European Council for Optometry and Optics (ECOO) and Chair of the ECV’s Healthy and Active Ageing work-stream, said: “We applaud the hard work of the WBU and WIPO to facilitate access to published works for people who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise unable to read printed materials. This is key to independence and healthy and active ageing: Europe should be at the forefront of those taking action.”