A Whole New World of reading Will Soon Open Up for Blind and Vision-impaired Australians

For Immediate Release 1 July 2016

As of September this year, Australians who are blind or vision-impaired will have access to more books than ever before. Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) today warmly welcomed the 20th ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty. Now that twenty countries have ratified the treaty, which allows for the free movement of books in accessible formats such as Braille and large print between countries, it will come into force in Australia and other ratifying countries as of September 30th 2016.

“This is a great day for people who are blind or vision impaired,” said BCA President, Emma Bennison. “It means that thousands of books will be made available for the first time to Australians who need them to study, get a job, or just enjoy the world from a different perspective. At the moment only about five per cent of books are accessible.”

The Treaty was first signed in Morocco in 2013. Australia ratified in December 2015, and was among the first nations to do so.

“Australia has been a leader in getting the Marrakesh Treaty off the ground, through government and through the leadership of Australian Maryanne Diamond in her recent role as World Blind Union President. We look forward to working with the Australian government as it implements the Treaty in the months and years to come.”

Media contact: Leah van Poppel BCA CEO

0430 210 980 leah.van.poppel@bca.org.au



For more information, visit the World Blind Union media release: