Source: Australian Blindness Forum

On 30 June 2016, the World Blind Union announced that Canada became the 20th country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for People who are Blind, Visually Impaired or otherwise Print Disabled. This is an historic achievement after many years of campaigning in the blindness sector worldwide to put an end to the global ‘book famine’.

The global book famine refers to the less than ten percent of published materials being available in accessible formats and often less than one percent in developing countries.

The Marrakesh Treaty will come into force on 30 September 2016 and means the twenty ratifying countries will be able to enjoy the benefits enshrined in the treaty that are meant to extend the same access to literature and information for print disabled persons that non-print disabled persons already enjoy.

Millions of blind and partially sighted people will be able to access literature and educational materials, enabling them to better participate in their society.

ABF, Australia’s representative to the World Blind Union, congratulates the Australian Government on being one of the 20 countries to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty. ABF is now urging the Australian Government to pass the current amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 that are ready and waiting to be introduced into Parliament.

These proposed amendments were intended to underpin the Marrakesh Treaty in Australia ensuring the provisions for the production and cross-border sharing of accessible works would be easily accessible to all Australians. It is crucial that these amendments are passed in order to achieve the treaty’s overarching goal of furthering the human rights of persons with print disabilities by promoting their access to literature and information.

“The 20th ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty is a great achievement but we still have work to do”, said Tony Starkey, ABF Chair. “In Australia, it is vital that the proposed amendments to the Copyright Act are passed by Parliament as soon as possible. This will ensure all Australians who are blind or vision impaired can maximise the benefits of the treaty, ending the book famine in this country.”

ABF is also calling on all countries to ratify the treaty, particularly the United States of America and the United Kingdom, who hold the majority of English language content across the world.

ABF is seeking any support from the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to encourage the USA and UK ratify the treaty.

For further information about the Marrakesh Treaty please visit the World Blind Union website:

Tony Starkey
Australian Blindness Forum
0408 666 170
ABN 47 125 036 857
PO Box 1188
Canberra ACT 2601

Guide Dogs WA: “ROAM Trial Presentation”

The Rural and Remote Orientation and Mobility (ROAM) project, developed by VisAbility, provides real-time monitoring and delivery of Orientation and Mobility training and instruction via videoconferencing.

The service delivery involves using a smartphone (iPhone 6 Plus) attached to a Go-Pro chest harness worn by the individual. Live video streaming to a remote Orientation and Mobility Instructor provides instruction to the individual via headphones.

Check out the latest video here: ROAM Youtube Clip

CISCO Academy for the Vision Impaired (CAVI) Enrolments Now Open

CAVI Enrolments are now open for all courses.

Visit for CAVI course info

How do I apply?

Head on over to the application form Complete it, and email it to caviinfo at gmail dot com

What is CAVI?

CAVI is a Cisco Networking Academy based in Perth, Western Australia providing the following services, both nationally and internationally, to people who are totally or partially blind:

  • Accredited Cisco Networking Academy courses
  • Various non-Cisco IT courses and short courses
  • Life skills short courses
  • Podcasts

For more information contact CAVI by email: mailto:caviinfo at gmail dot com.

ABC iview Audio Described programs – July 2016

Please find below a list of Audio Described programs that will become available on iview in July 2016.

As always, programs are subject to schedule changes however this is what is currently planned.

  • 8MMM
  • Australian Story
  • Barracuda
  • Breathless
  • Broad City
  • Cleverman
  • Doctor Who
  • Episodes
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Gardening Australia
  • Rake
  • Silent Witness
  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries
  • The Queen At Ninety
  • Big Ted’s Excellent Adventure: 50 Years Of Play School
  • Hoopla Doopla
  • Octonauts
  • Olivia
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Spooksville
  • Tree Fu Tom

You might find the instructional clip with information on how to access AD on iview useful. It can be found here: ABC Iview instructional Youtube clip

To provide your feedbac during the trial, or for any other information pleas visit the ABC’s AD website

Interview with Iain Murray – Queen’s Birthday Honours

Through RPH Adelaide, on Vision Extra, an interview with Professor Iain Murray from Curtin University, talking about his Queen’s Birthday Honours Recognition for his work with CAVI, the Cisco Academy for Vision Impaired.

You can listen to Iain’s interview here: Vision Extra Interview with Iain Murray

You can visit CAVI at Cisco Academy for Vision Impaired