[A2k] SCCR/32 EIFL statement on other disabilities

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Fri May 13 09:29:37 PDT 2016


32nd Session: Geneva, 9 May – 13 May 2016

Agenda item 6: Limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives

Agenda item 7: Limitations and exceptions for education for persons with
other disabilities

I am speaking on behalf of Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL).

We support Limitations and Exceptions for persons with other disabilities,
such as people who are deaf.

Deafness is described as an invisible disability because you can't see it
in the same way as someone who has a physical disability. But that doesn’t
make life any easier for those affected. The major barrier for deaf people
is trying to communicate like everyone else does. Because of this
communication difficulty, deaf people tend to rely on technologies such as
subtitles and captioning for communication and information.

Many delegations have rightly described the Marrakesh Treaty, and the issue
of access to information, as a humanitarian issue. Yet the copyright issues
that occur in creating accessible format copies for deaf people, such as
adding subtitles and captions to material, raise similar issues to those
addressed in the Marrakesh Treaty.

This is an issue of parity. Libraries, such as university libraries and
public libraries, should be allowed to serve all their users equally. In
some countries, a single library serves both communities, for example in
Kyrgyzstan, the Republic Library for Blind and Deaf People in Bishkek
provides literature in the Kyrgyz language for people in both communities.

EIFL suggests that the Committee would consider making a recommendation or
agreed principle to the General Assemblies that the provisions of the
Marrakesh Treaty apply mutatis mutandis to persons with other disabilities,
so that the equal treatment is granted to all persons regardless of their

Thank you for your attention.

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