Copyright Act receives Royal Assent - Next Step toward improved access to literature for Canadians with print disabilities

TORONTO, June 23, 2016 /CNW/ - Yesterday, Bill C-11, the Copyright Act, received Royal Assent. This legislation will allow Canada to now move forward to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, which would remove barriers for three million Canadians with a print disability, allowing them to access literature in the alternative formats they require.

The World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Marrakesh Treaty is designed to remove barriers to the access of alternate-format print materials through changes to domestic copyright laws on an international basis, while also facilitating the sharing of literary materials between nations. Currently, only seven percent of printed materials published worldwide are currently available in accessible formats such as braille, audio and large-print. This means that people with print disabilities, including those with vision loss as well as a variety of learning and physical disabilities, are not able to read the majority of published literature.

CNIB has worked closely with the Canadian government in supporting the passing of Bill C-11 and recognizes the support and commitment from parliamentary champions, The Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, as well as MP Rob Oliphant, MP Pierre Poilievre and MP Brian Masse.  

About CNIB
CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To learn more, visit or call the toll-free CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.


For further information: Amanda Lee, Communications Specialist, CNIB, (416) 486 2500 ext. 8345,


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