Access to Books, a fundamental right

23.04.2020

On World Book Day the European Blind Union highlights that access to books is still a problem for many blind and partially sighted people in Europe and recalls the importance, to tackle that problem, of implementing the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. Nine non-EU European countries have still not joined the Treaty and, together with our corresponding national member organisations, we will pursue efforts to make Europe a continent fully committed to it. As for the EU, all Member States have now, at last, transposed the Marrakesh Treaty Directive in their national laws, although we deplore that some of them contemplate ‘compensation’ for right-holders, including for pedagogical books. On this Day, we join the World Blind Union’s call to bear in mind the particular importance of accessible works in the current coronavirus confinement context, especially for purposes of education and of combatting isolation, and to ensure that COVID-19 related public information is made accessible for visually impaired persons.