European Parliament makes reading materials more accessible to blind and visually impaired people

Blind, visually-impaired and other reading-impaired people will soon have easier access to Braille-printed or adapted typography and audio books.

On Thursday, the European Parliament approved the previously agreed exception to copyright. According to some estimates, the European Union is home to more than 30 million blind and partially blind people. Of all the books that are published, only 7 to 20% are available in a format that is accessible to them.

This problem is now resolved. Blind people and organisations that defend their interests will no longer need to seek permission from copyright holders to make their books, newspapers and other works available in a suitable format. They will also be able to read or listen to works from other countries more easily.

On Thursday, the European Parliament approved the legislative amendment negotiated with the member states in May. They will be able to offer small compensation to publishers whose books are adapted in formats accessible to the blind.

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