Category: Uncategorized

PRESS RELEASE – MARRAKESH TREATY REACHES 20 RATIFICATIONS NEEDED TO ENTER INTO FORCE

Jul 01 2016

From the World Blind Union – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Toronto, June 30th, 2016 – Today is an historic day as Canada became the 20th country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty (full name is the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities).
The twenty ratifying countries will be able to enjoy the benefits enshrined in the treaty that are meant to extend the same access to literature and information for print disabled persons that non-print disabled persons already enjoy.

“This is another historical day for our movement,” said Arnt Holte, President of WBU. “It was a great victory when we managed to get a treaty securing accessible books for blind and print disabled persons, but the real victory was achieved today – when Canada became the 20th country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty.
The treaty will enter force in three months, on September 30th, and then millions of blind and partially sighted persons will be able to access literature and educational materials, enabling them to better participate in their society,” he added.

The WBU led the international campaign in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to achieve the development of an international treaty that would put an end to the global “book famine,” which refers to the less than ten percent of published materials being available in accessible formats and often less than one percent in developing countries. The great achievement today offers much cause for celebration for the WBU and its partners.

“After many years of hard work by countless people in the blindness community and partners from a range of sectors, we are now at the start of a new phase of our work,” said Maryanne Diamond, WBU Chair of the Right to Read campaign and a leader in the fight for the Marrakesh Treaty.

However, we still have much work to do in order to end the book famine. “As we celebrate and look to the future, we cannot forget that worldwide ratification is still a long way off,” said Ms. Diamond. “We need to continue our work together to ensure the treaty can be implemented and used by blind and print disabled people irrespective of where they live in the world,” she added.

The WBU calls for every single country to ratify the treaty, and then to effectively implement its provisions for the production and cross-border sharing of accessible works in order to achieve the treaty’s overarching goal of furthering the human rights of persons with print disabilities by promoting their access to literature and information.

To learn more about the Marrakesh Treaty, how it will help end the book famine as well as about our Ratification and Implementation Campaign and what you can do to encourage your government to ratify the treaty, visit our Campaign Page: http://www.worldblindunion.org/ English/our-work/our-priorities/Pages/right-2-read-campaign.aspx

The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization representing the estimated 285 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members consist of organizations run by blind people advocating on their own behalf and organizations that serve the blind, in over 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment. Visit our website at www.wbu.ngo

For further information, please contact:

Caitlin Reid, Communications Officer, World Blind Union

Caitlin.Reid@wbu.ngo

When It Comes To Eye Health: Take Action, You Have A Choice

Jun 29 2016

 

 

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drop-cap-part of our mandate is to promote eye care and prevent blindness, as well as implement measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community, and provide employment opportunities for those with vision loss.

Vision loss is a difficult condition to manage, as it has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities, or age. What is alarming to us is that in many instances, vision loss is easily preventable and sometimes is simply symptomatic of other health issues that can be controlled. This is why as an organization, we are committed to a proactive integrated health approach for early detection — improving the quality of life for all Canadians, including you.

Eye health can often be the very lowest medical concern to be attended to for Canadians because, in the majority of cases, one does not die from eye disease. This is why it is essential for you to bring eye care to the forefront of your health, so that the best possible treatment can be provided before major problems occur. Permanent damage can occur prior to major symptoms, which is why acting now on your vision health is critical.

Read the rest of the article online Here.

Or Download the PDF Here.

Progress on Accessibility Legislation

Jun 22 2016

This morning, June 22, 2016 CCB President Louise Gillis and other Canadians with disabilities attended a speech by the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister for Sport and Persons with Disabilities. Minister Qualtrough made an important announcement on an engagement process that will lead to the passage of Accessibility Legislation.

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CCB celebrates progress of the Right to Read campaign

Jun 17 2016

On Monday, June 13, 2016 Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) had great reason to celebrate on Parliament Hill with the Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities & The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development on the passing through Commons the act to amend the Canadian Copyright Act therefore displaying Canada’s commitment to the breaking down of barriers for people with print disabilities.

Thank you to all of our CCB members who sent letters and talked with their local Members of Parliament to move this forward!

This event celebrated an achievement that was some time in the making: after a few years of progress, Canada is set to sign on its support for the Marrakesh Treaty, joining the approximately 17 other countries that have already done so.

The Marrakesh Treaty will allow greater access to reading material for Canadians with print disabilities, and Bill C-11 will help to improve international access to copyrighted material for persons with print disabilities.

CCB has worked with the World Blind Union (WBU) and CNIB since the inception of the Right to Read campaign.  As noted on the WBU website:

The current international system does not allow for cross-border sharing, leading to the needless duplication of books, which uses up already limited resources. However, once the Marrakesh Treaty comes into force, cross-border sharing will be legal, which will help to avoid the duplication of reproduction efforts in different countries. The Treaty will also enable countries with large collections of accessible books to share them with blind and print disabled people in countries with fewer resources. Cross-border sharing is essential for combating the book famine as blind and partially sighted people are among the poorest of the poor, and organizations for the blind often do not have the resources needed to produce enough materials in accessible formats.

Blind and print disabled people want to be able to go to a bookstore or library and pick up and read the new bestseller like everyone else. Blind and partially sighted children want to be able to go to school and to become literate just as much as their sighted peers do. It has been well documented that education is the key to unlocking the future potential of children, enabling them to become gainfully employed as adults and participate effectively as students, parents, coworkers, and citizens in their communities and their families.”

MEC @ St. Patrick Catholic School in Rockland

Jun 03 2016

The MEC team is headed to Rockland, on June 10 and 17, to perform eye exams for the students of St. Patrick Catholic School. This is a 2nd visit to St. Patrick for the MEC and we are looking forward to see all the students, staff, and parents!