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Reading RIghts Coalition

 Joint Statement on Access to Books
by Americans with Print Disabilities.  



ICDRI, a member of the Reading Rights Coalition, is pleased to post this Joint Statement on Access to Books by Americans with Print Disabilities. Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President on Disability Policy, has also referenced this announcement in The White House Blog “One Step Closer to Full Access” at www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/03/09/one-step-closer-full-access  .  






Chris Danielsen

Reading Rights Coalition

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)



Joint Statement on Access to Books
by Americans with Print Disabilities


Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2010): The Reading Rights Coalition, which represents thirty million Americans who cannot read print due to disabilities; the Authors Guild, with a membership of eight thousand American writers; and the Association of American Publishers, consisting of three hundred publishers representing 85 percent of all published materials in the United States, today issued the following statement regarding access to books by Americans with print disabilities:

"The growth in the number of books offered in electronic and audio formats has created tremendous opportunities for the millions of Americans who are blind or have other print disabilities that make it difficult or impossible to read printed books in the same way that other Americans typically do. This large community constitutes a previously-untapped market that is hungry for the educational, inspirational, and recreational opportunities that books can provide, and now offers a significant commercial opportunity to the publishing industry.

“The Reading Rights Coalition, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers believe that the contents of books should be as accessible to individuals with print disabilities as they are to everyone else. To that end, these groups agree to work together and through the communities they represent to ensure that when the marketplace offers alternative formats to print books, such as audio and electronic books, print-disabled consumers can access the contents of these alternative formats to the same extent as all other consumers."




About the Reading Rights Coalition


The Reading Rights Coalition consists of thirty-one organizations that represent the estimated thirty million Americans who can not read print.  The member organizations of the Reading Rights Coalition believe that access to the written word is the cornerstone of education and democracy, and new information technologies must SERVE individuals with disabilities rather than acting as barriers.





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