The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and other higher education groups today issued a joint statement in support of the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559), which was introduced earlier this month in the Senate.
We urge Congress to act swiftly to pass S. 2559. It is time for blind and otherwise print-disabled individuals, at U.S. colleges and universities, to enjoy the same access to printed works as other Americans.
Our colleges and universities – among the nation’s leading producers and consumers of copyrighted works – are committed to providing equitable access to information.But students, faculty, and staff who have print disabilities encounter significant, daily challenges in accessing required course materials and essential scholarly resources. The university disability services offices that serve these communities struggle to locate or create accessible-format materials in a timely manner. The National Federation of the Blind estimates, for example, that no more than 5 percent of published works are created in an accessible format.
The Marrakesh Treaty offers a fair and transparent way to remedy the disadvantages that Americans with print disabilities confront when seeking to lawfully access the world’s printed materials.