Accessible Books Consortium Launched through WIPO

The Accessible Books Consortium has been launched to address the global book famine for people who are blind or visually impaired.

WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization) and a group of key partners launched the Accessible Books Consortium, which is a new alliance designed to increase the number of books available in accessible formats for use by hundreds of millions of people around the globe who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise unable to read print.   According to the World Blind Union (WBU), over 90% of all published materials are inaccessible to people with visual impairments, many of whom live in developing countries.  This scarcity of published works in accessible formats has been referred to as the “global book famine”.  This consortium was established to address this shortage by implementing the objectives of the Marrakesh Treaty.

In June 2013 WIPO created the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, which will establish an international legal framework that will boost access to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.