Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Right to Read Campaign

Millions of Indians are unable to read printed material due to disabilities. There are technologies available which can help them read print if the material is converted into an alternate format such as large print, audio, Braille or any electronic format. While the Indian constitution guarantees the “right to read” as a fundamental right, the copyright regime does not permit the conversion of books into accessible formats for the benefit of persons with print impairment, as a result of which a “book famine” is created.

Objectives of the Right to Read Campaign

· To accelerate change in copyright law

· To raise public awareness on the issue

· To gather Indian support for the Treaty for the Blind proposed by the World Blind Union at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The nationwide Right to Read campaign will begin with road shows in four metros and will then be taken up in different cities. There will be half day events with publicity. Events shall comprise presentations, debates and demonstrations, book reading sessions and stalls where various accessibility tools will be demonstrated. The first roadshow is to be held at Loyala College on 26th September.

More information here.

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