Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Minister for Communications

Minister for the Arts

Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Turning a new page for people with print disability

11 December 2015

Joint Media Release:

Minister for Foreign Affair, The Hon Julie Bishop MP

Minister for Trade and Investment, The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP

Minister for Social Services, The Hon Christian Porter MP

Australians with vision impairment will have greater access to books and other published materials in accessible formats such as large print, braille or audio following Australia's ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.

The Treaty is a significant international agreement that will help 285 million people with vision impairment worldwide to access these materials.

Ratifying this treaty is an important part of the Government's commitment to supporting Australians with disability. Accessible format materials are essential to ensuring all Australians can engage fully in school, work and our communities.

By improving access to large print, braille and audio materials in the Indo-Pacific, the Marrakesh treaty will also support economic and social development in our region.  

The treaty recognises the commercial interests of copyright holders by encouraging the use of accessible material already available, before relying on the treaty.

Australia joins eleven other countries in ratifying the treaty, which will come into effect three months after 20 countries have ratified or acceded to it. We strongly encourage other countries to take this step.

The Australian Government is also working with the World Intellectual Property Organization to fund practical initiatives to help increase the global availability of books in accessible formats. 

Foreign Minister's Office: Rachel Obradovic 0478 488 874
Minister for Trade and Investment: 0400 940 968

Minister for Communications and the Arts: Justine Sywak 0448 448 487                        
Minister for Social Services: Mark Simkin 0447 109 062

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