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WBU awarded for Innovative Policy on Accessibility

The World Blind Union is delighted to receive an award on "Marrakesh Treaty Ratification and Implementation Campaign” from ZeroProject, an initiative of the Essl Foundation which focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities globally.

WBU was selected jointly with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as an Innovative Policy of the Zero Project 2018! The awards were presented at Zero Project Conference 2018 on "Accessibility" held in Vienna, 21 – 23 February 2018.

68 Innovative Practices and 15 Innovative Policies on the topic of “Accessibility”, from all around the world, which remove barriers for persons with disabilities, were nominated.

The policies and practices will be featured in the Zero Project annual report and will be promoted on the website and across the Zero Project social media channels throughout 2018.

Many of the representatives of the winning organizations were presenters at the conference. The WBU president, Dr. Fred Schroeder, attended the Conference and spoke about " Ending the Book Famine for the Blind". 

Dr. Schroeder observed that blind people and others with print disabilities have access to fewer than 5% of published works—fewer than 1% in the developing world.

However, he noted that digital revolution offers the possibility of dramatically expanding access to print, but national copyright laws do not permit the cross-border sharing of accessible works. In response, in 2008, the WBU launched its Right to Read Campaign which called for the Marrakesh Book Treaty to address the "book famine".

The Marrakesh Treaty allows countries that have ratified the treaty to exchange materials in accessible formats across national borders.

Check out this video of the WBU President receiving the Zero Project Award in Vienna.

For more information about the Zero Project Conference 2018 visit:​

Also read about the Marrakesh Treaty on the WBU website