The Nigeria Association Of The Blind in Partnership with Disability Rights Fund (DRF) Reading Diasabled have commenced strategic advocacy for the domestication of Marrakesh Treaty in the national copyright act of the country.
The group disclosed this yesterday at the commencement of a 2-day capacity building workshop which held at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria noted that with the passage of the Marrakesh Treaty into law in the country more blind and visually impaired people will have access to helpful information that will enable them become more productive members of the society.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Mike Akpan who represented the Director General of Nigerian Copyrights Commission (NCC) explained that:
“The Marrakesh Treaty facilitate access to published works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or otherwise Print Diasabled.
“Its main goal is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the Blind, Visually Impaired and Print Diasabled people in the society,” he said.
Going further, he added that the treaty required Contracting Parties to introduce a standard set of limitations and exceptions to copyright rules in order to permit reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in formats designed to be accessible to the blind, Visually Impaired People and to permit exchange of these works across borders by organisations that serve those beneficiaries.
Mr. Ishiyaku Adamu, President, Nigeria Association Of The Blind, hinted that:
“The aim of our advocacy is the total inclusion of the blind in all aspects of the society.
“We want to see that the society understand our needs and remove barriers preventing our participation, so we can have a level playing ground to be productive members and contribute our quota,” he said.
Miss Oluwakemi Odusanya, Administrative Officer, Nigeria Association Of The Blind,
lamented the fact that persons who cannot see were hampered when it came to reading materials because they can not read like others do, but with the domestication of the Marrakesh Treaty in the Nigerian Copyright Act, she said it will help inform publishers to produce their materials in accessible formats and assist in sharing them.
She also called on the Government to provide more books in accessible forms for blind students, through its ministry of education:
“There should be a budget specially designed to make sure that education materials that are sent to schools are also made in available formats for persons who are having reading disabilities in the school so that they can independently and comfortably read news and materials to their benefit,” she said.