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Sightsavers response to ‘history-making’ copyright treaty for visually impaired

06 December 2012 Sightsavers response to ‘history-making’ copyright treaty for blind people

International development organisation Sightsavers reacts to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announcement to improve access to books for blind, visually impaired and other print disabled people.

Responding to the WIPO treaty, Caroline Harper, Chief Executive of Sightsavers said:
“This history-making treaty ends the book famine for millions of blind and visually impaired people, providing access to publications which have previously been locked away by legal constrictions.

“WIPO has taken a commendable approach in passing a treaty which benefits the public interest rather than solely the rights-holder, dramatically increasing the amount of literature available to visually impaired people, which is currently as low as 1% in developing countries.

“As something that Sightsavers has been advocating globally for more than six years, this announcement is a truly celebratory moment for us, our partners and the 285 million people who are visually impaired around the world.”

About Sightsavers

Sightsavers is a global development organisation working to eliminate avoidable blindness and to ensure that people who are irreversibly blind receive the support they need to lead lives of independence and dignity.

Sightsavers has been working in India since 1966 on eye health and has reached out to over 35 million people.

Today, we work with partner organisations across major states in India bringing eye healthcare, educational support, counselling, training and leadership development to visually impaired people in some of the least served areas of the country.

We work in a sustainable way to promote lasting change – by strengthening existing health systems, seeking to advocate with and influence governments and by demonstrating best practises. We network with like-minded organisations to enable exchange of ideas and to advocate for the rights of the disabled.

Sightsavers believes in promoting indigenous technologies in eye healthcare enabling a wider reach of health services in India. For more information log on to www.sightsaversindia.in

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