Print disability

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A print-disabled person is "a person who cannot effectively read print because of a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability".[1] A print disability prevents a person from gaining information from printed material in the standard way, and requires them to utilize alternative methods to access that information. Print disabilities include visual impairments, learning disabilities, or physical disabilities that impede the ability to manipulate a book in some way.[2] The term was coined by George Kerscher, a pioneer in digital talking books.[3]

A conference organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Marrakesh, Morocco, in June 2013 adopted a special treaty called "A Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities" (briefly Marrakesh Treaty).[4][5] The Marrakesh Treaty represents an important change in how law makers balance the demands of copyright owners against the interests of people with disabilities in particular, and a potential point of inflection in global copyright politics more generally.


Paul Harpur and Nic Suzor, ‘Copyright Protections and Disability Rights: Turning the Page to a New International Paradigm’ (2013) 36 University of New South Wales Law Journal 3, 33, 745-778..

See also[edit]

[Paul Harpur and Rebecca Loudoun, ‘The Barrier of the Written Word: Analysing Universities’ Policies to Include Students with Print Disabilities and Calls for Reforms’ (2011) 33 Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 2, 153-167]

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