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Action 65: Helping disabled people to access content

24 October 2010

Facilitate by 2012, in cooperation with Member States and relevant stakeholders, a Memorandum of Understanding on Digital Access for persons with disabilities in compliance with the UN Convention.

What is the problem ? Limited reading material for persons with reading disabilities

The range of accessible works for visually impaired people in Europe is limited.

One of the underlying problems is the legal cross-border transfer of accessible format books in the EU.

Why is EU Action required ? Give access to reading material for people with print disabilities, regardless of their place of residence in the EU

Persons with disabilities should be able to fully participate in the information society, in particular having access to digital material (books and other publications), in line with the obligations of the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities.

The number of accessible publications needs to be increased.

Representatives of rights holders and disabled people signed on 14 September 2010 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the cross-border circulation of accessible books for people with print disabilities. The MoU aims to ensure that copyrighted and licensed material edited in accessible format under national copyright exceptions or licenses in one Member State is legally available in other EU Member States as well, through trusted intermediaries. This initiative enables people with print disabilities to gain access to an increased number of content regardless of their place of residence in the EU. The publishers are encouraged to produce directly their books in accessible formats. .

What will the Commission do ?

In 2011, the Commission will support and encourage stakeholders to :

  • Define accreditation procedures to set up a list of trusted intermediaries in each Member State
  • Create an online database offering an exhaustive catalogue of all accessible books under copyright or not around EU.

Additional Information