Conference program ‘Same Book, Same Time, Same Price’ to explore how libraries can engage in efforts to ensure access for reading impaired

Something is going on in Washington, DC…

Last July, the United States signed its first human rights declaration in nearly a decade — the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities — that in part says that governments should take appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to information and communications as well as access to the physical environment.

That’s just the beginning.

For the last year, the U.S. Copyright Office has been investigating ways to improve access to information for the reading impaired, and both the Senate and the House have introduced legislation that will mandate accessibility to digital technologies and networks and handheld devices like cell phones.

It gets better…

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) included information needs of the disabled as a focal point of the National Broadband Plan. Member nations of the World Intellectual Property Organization have introduced an international treaty for a minimum copyright exception for the visually impaired.

And, wait for it, wait for it…

The Justice Department ruled that to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), universities should not purchase, recommend or promote dedicated e-book readers, unless the devices are fully accessible to students who are blind and have low vision.

What do these developments mean for the disabled, in particular the reading impaired? How can libraries engage in these seemingly promising developments?

In your busy conference schedule, please plan on attending:

“Same Book, Same Time, Same Price: Access and the Visually Impaired”

Saturday, June 26th, 2010, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Washington Convention Center, Room 152 B

This program is sponsored by ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and features the following panelists: Paul Schroeder, Vice-President of the American Foundation for the Blind, Dan Goldstein,Partner, Brown, Goldstein & Levy and expert on disability rights law, and Jessica Brodey, an attorney and a public policy advocate for people with disabilities. Carrie Russell, OITP’s Director of the Program on Public Access to Information, will moderate.

We promise a high caliber program of interest to all librarians who believe that everyone has the right to read.

About Carrie Russell

Carrie Russell is the Director of the Program on Public Access to Information in the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP). Her portfolio includes copyright, international copyright, accessibility, e-books and other public policy issues. She has a MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a MA in media arts from the University of Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at crussell@alawash.org.

One comment

  1. i believe we all should have the same right and being informed and educated is a crucial right. no one should have to be left in the dark because of their condition.

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