By Fabian Ekeruche
The Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB) with the support of Disability Rights Fund (DRF) has organised a training for publishers and Persons With Disability (PWDs) on inclusive publishing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day event tagged: “Inclusive Publishing: The Panacea to Book Famine” was concluded on Saturday in Lagos State.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Miss Kemi Odusanya, Administrative Officer, NAB, said that the capacity building was important because COVID-19 had brought a lot of revolution in the educational system and PWDs couldn’t be left out.
“When COVID-19 came, we discovered that PWDs could not access online materials.
“ Right now, we need the books and printed materials in accessible form for PWDs,” Okunsanya said.
According to her, visually impaired persons can also access bookshare, an online library, to access online materials to read.
She said that accessing some of the materials came at a cost to the reader.
To mitigate this challenge, Odusanya, said that NAB sought for sponsorship for 500 slots for blind persons to have access to online materials.
She appealed to publishers to always consider the blind or visually impaired in their publications.
Also speaking, Mr Theophilus Odaudu, Programmes Officer, Nigeria for DRF, said that his organisation was glad to give funding to NAB for the training of publishers on inclusive publishing.
Odaudu said that the proliferation of accessible materials to PWDs would bring an end to book famine.
He enjoined PWDs to keep hope alive, adding that the present Copy Rights Bill was undergoing amendment.
“It is our prayer that the amendment would incorporate the Marrakesh Treaty and aid the availability of all printed materials in accessible format.
“We are hoping that gradually we will get there and push advocacy for a change of narratives,” he said.
NAN reports that the event had an array of publishers, including University Press PLC, HEBN Publishers, West African Book Publishers Ltd. Spectrum Books, Ltd, among others.
The Marrakesh Treaty makes the production and international transfer of specially-adapted books for people with blindness or visual impairments easier.
It does this by establishing a set of limitations and exceptions to traditional copyright law.
The Marrakesh Treaty was adopted on June 27, 2013, and entered into force on Sept. 30, 2016. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)