For immediate release | June 17, 2013

ALA joins others to support Treaty for the Blind

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Library Association supports the Treaty for the Blind, a treaty that would allow the lending of accessible content to print-disabled people around the world. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) diplomatic conference that will finalize the treaty begins in Morocco on June 17, 2013.

The treaty asks each WIPO member nation to establish a national exception that authorizes the making of accessible copies. This copyright exception would be similar to the Chafee Amendment in U.S. copyright law. In addition, the exception would allow countries to share accessible copies across borders. The beneficiaries of the exception include people who are blind, have low vision, are dyslexic, have a learning disability or other disability that prevents them from accessing print books.

Over the next two weeks, the U.S. delegation to the international copyright conference will work with other member nations in negotiations to protect book access for the blind. Ninety percent of the 314 million people who are blind or have visual impairments live in developing nations, making the need for an exception crucial.

Additionally, ALA is encouraging advocates to sign a petition to support the copyright exception. The American Library Association is encouraging library advocates and supporters to sign a White House petition to tell the Obama administration and the WIPO U.S. delegation about the importance of the treaty.


About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

Related Links

White House Treaty for the Blind


Jazzy Wright

Press Officer

American Library Association

Washington Office