The Benetech Human Rights team is always seeking new opportunities to connect with grassroots human rights activists and share experiences and lessons learned to help strengthen and defend freedom of expression around the world. We were therefore delighted to host the 2015 cohort of The Internet Freedom Fellows program at our Palo Alto offices earlier this month.
Last month, leaders from around the world gathered in Marrakesh, Morocco, with the hope of taking a huge step forward and designing that international model. I’m excited to report: they did just that. The “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled,” which will make it possible for people who are blind, or have other print disabilities such as dyslexia to get access to the books they need no matter where they live, was adopted by the diplomatic conference and signed on the spot by over 50 countries. We have a treaty…and it’s great!
The role that Benetech, and our CEO Jim Fruchterman, have played in the adoption of the historic “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled,” has been been noted in some recent media coverage and through other media channels.
Press Release: What has been commonly referred to as the “Treaty for the Blind” was formally adopted yesterday, and signed by 51 countries today, in a Diplomatic Conference convened by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This historic treaty paves the way to expanding the access to books for people who are blind or otherwise print disabled and provides the necessary legal framework for organizations, like Benetech and its Bookshare initiative, to deliver those books to people across international borders.