On 26th September, 2022 Bangladesh has Joined Marrakesh Treaty for “Book for Blind” by World Intellectual Property Organizations (WIPO), at Geneva. Md Mustafizur Rahman, ambassador and permanent representative of Bangladesh to the UN offices at Geneva, submitted the essentials for accession to WIPO Director General Daren Tang at the headquarters. With this treaty, Bangladesh became the 116th nation in the world to sign this agreement. It is hoped to improve access to books and reading materials to people with disability in Bangladesh.
Adopted on June 2013, the WIPO-administered Marrakesh Treaty makes the production and international transfer of Multimedia Talking Books for people with blindness or visual impairments easier. It does this by establishing a set of limitations and exceptions to traditional copyright law.
WIPO Director General Daren Tang said, “WIPO is pleased to have Bangladesh to the Marrakesh treaty. The Marrakesh treaty helps to support millions of people who are blind and visually impaired in the world by widening access to Multimedia Talking Books. Thanks to today’s accession, the estimated 340,000 visually impaired people in Bangladesh will now have access to close to 800,000 accessible books via WIPO’s accessible book consortium. Not only this is a powerful example of IP in action, but it will help all Bangladeshis to fully participate in economic, social and cultural life.”
a2i programmes has been working relentlessly to ensure better and accessible services to people with disability. Partnering with different departments and ministries of the government and private organizations, including the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cabinet Division, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division, and Copyright Office, a2i is endeavoring to deliver all inclusive facilities.
The a2i programme’s Disability Innovation Lab is pursuing to make public services citizen-friendly and accessible for all. Also, the Ministry of Social Welfare and a2i jointly facilitated Multimedia Talking Book, developed an Accessible Dictionary, and distributed Braille textbooks at the beginning of the academic year.
Considering both the national and global priorities, the Government of Bangladesh accentuates the inclusion of people from all the segments of the society, including people with disabilities, in the mainstream development activities in achieving sustainable development and minimizing inequalities. Great strives have already been started in Bangladesh to further its vision of Inclusive Digital Bangladesh.