Alternattiva and Green MEPs support treaty for the blind and visually impaired

Dr Claire Azzopardi Lane

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green party welcomes the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaty that addresses issues of accessibility for people who are blind and visually impaired.

In 2009, the World Blind Union, Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay together proposed a WIPO treaty to help increase availability of books in formats accessible to people who are visually impaired. After years of discussion, an agreement has finally been reached at a diplomatic conference attended by WIPO delegates.

Green MEP Eva Lichtenberger commented on the above, stating: “This treaty represents an historical step in access to published works by blind and visually impaired people around the world. Over 95% of published books are not available in formats accessible to visually impaired and print-disabled people in Europe. In the rest of the world, over 99% of reading material is unavailable to tens of millions of visually impaired people.”

Dr. Claire Azzopardi Lane, Alternattiva Demokratika spokesperson for Disability Issues and Sports added: “This treaty reinforces the right of access to information and supports notions of equality and non-discrimination for people who are blind and visually impaired”.

AD is requesting that the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Family takes the necessary action upon the implementation of this treaty without delay.