Wednesday, 29 Nov, 2023




Enabling and Empowering the Print-Disabled and Visually Impaired: Role of Law, Treaty, Guidelines, and Technology

International Journal of Information Studies and Libraries

Volume 7 Issue 1

Published: 2022
Author(s) Name: Subhajit Panda, Rupak Chakravarty | Author(s) Affiliation: Central Library, Chandigarh University, Punjab, India.
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Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations, reads “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has taken the initiative, IFLA/FAIFE (Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), to defend and promote the basic human rights defined in Article 19 of the UN’s UDHR. While such movements and initiatives are focused towards the citizens of the world, WIPO’s Marrakesh VIP Treaty (MVT) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) cater to the requirements and rights of the persons with vision aberrations and other such bodily deficiencies, which deprives them from accessing information and knowledge, building a steeper and deeper knowledge divide. The present paper examines the relevant articles as mentioned in the MVT, encompassing the ‘Accessible Format Copies’ (AFC) for the visually disadvantaged. The paper also investigates the provision in the Indian Copyright Act. Various tools as technological interventions have also been discussed, including the Web browser screen readers. A brief discussion on the current status and its implications of WCAG have been also given for greater understanding in context with the theme of the paper.

Keywords: Marrakesh VIP Treaty (MVT), Indian Copyright Law, Screen Reader, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Accessible Format Copy (AFC), Alternate Format Material (AFM)

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