The International Publishers Association is saddened to learn of the World Blind Union’s declaration to suspend participation in the shared projects initiated by the WIPO Stakeholder Platform.

Says IPA Secretary General Jens Bammel: “IPA remains committed to helping print disabled readers to read. Our aspiration is that all readers be able to read books when and where they want to, and at a fair price, regardless of disability.

IPA and other stakeholders have worked actively and cooperatively with the World Blind Union and other organisations to facilitate access for this community. This cooperative effort involves a series of projects at the national, European and international level, including a number of initiatives of the WIPO Stakeholder Platform. We believe that continued international cooperative efforts like these, with all parties willing to look beyond their organisations’ near term interests, are essential to achieving our shared goal. The IPA remains fully committed to this process.

We understand that the unilateral suspension of collaboration by the World Blind Union is temporary. We also believe that the specific concerns the WBU has raised are resolvable. With regards to the enabling legal framework, the substantive positions of IPA and WBU have always been close. We are confident that through an open dialogue on this issue all stakeholders can find an enlightened, balanced and effective solution.

We look forward to the time, when the World Blind Union resumes its full collaboration with publishers. In the meantime IPA will continue its efforts with all stakeholders willing to work on removing obstacles to access for persons with print disabilities”.

Notes for Editors

The Statements of the World Blind Union can be found at:

http://www.worldblindunion.org/en/news-events/latest-news/Pages/default.aspx

Details on the Stakeholder Platform can be found at

http://www.visionip.org/portal/en/

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