TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Apr 27, 2015) – Industry Canada
Canada has one of the top literacy rates in the developed world, but for some Canadians, this privilege also comes with certain limitations. Today, nearly 1 million Canadians live with a print disability such as blindness or partial sight, and some Canadians have mobility issues that prevent them from turning a page or pointing a cursor. For these Canadians, it can be especially difficult to obtain material such as textbooks or online resources in a format that is both accessible and easy to use. Canadians should not be denied opportunities to read and educate themselves simply because they are print disabled.
Today, Industry Minister James Moore, joined by representatives from the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) and the World Blind Union, announced that the Government of Canada will introduce new measures that expand access to materials in formats vital to those living with a print disability.
Canada will join the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. The Treaty will give Canadians with print disabilities more and improved access to material from around the world in a variety of languages. It will also increase opportunities to import and export accessible versions of print materials, while ensuring the continued protection of authors’ rights. These changes will help schools, libraries and charitable organizations that work with the visually impaired to reduce their costs.
Once the Marrakesh Treaty is in force, Canada will be one of the first G7 nations to fully implement it, giving Canadians greater opportunities to fully participate in society and the economy.
The Government will table the Treaty in the House of Commons on April 29, 2015.