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Accessible Information and Copyright Committee

Contact: Leo Bissonnette (leo@blindcanadians.ca)

The Accessible Information and Copyright Committee has a mandate to advocate for full access to print publications, in the many different ways that the community does that (be it through CELA, NNELS, Audible, Bookshare, CourseSmart, public libraries, or otherwise). The Committee will monitor developments on any changes to the Canadian Copyright Act.

The committee will:

  • Monitor new developments in this area to inform our membership;
  • Propose organizational policy and responses to these developments;
  • When possible, work collaboratively with external partners and donors/sponsors in the delivery of this program.

Goals and Deliverables

For July 2016, the committee partnered on a joint project between AEBC and GTT/CCB to provide information on the library services offered by CELA and NNELS. This was in response to a great deal of confusion about what is being offered by both organizations.

For September 2016, the committee will:

  • Update and promote “CourseSmart”, a website that makes textbooks available in a variety of accessible formats, and provide this information to students returning to classes. The CourseSmart standard reader has been tested with a wide range of accessibility tools. Specific help documents have been developed for users of accessible technology information by CourseSmart.

  • The proposed National Accessibility and Inclusion Act: During the coming year, the AEBC Board expects that several opportunities will be made available As part of the engagement process for the proposed National Accessibility and Inclusion Act where we may have an opportunity to share views on issues of particular interest to our committee’s work. If such an opportunity does present itself, we will work with the Board to make such a presentation.

  • Changes to the Copyright Act: Bill C-11, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act, passed in Parliament in the spring of 2016, will make changes to the Copyright Act to ensure that it is fully in line with the Marrakesh Treaty and to enable Canada to accede to the treaty. This treaty aims to bring the global community together to better address the universal challenge of ensuring timely access to, and wider availability of, alternate-format published materials for those with print disabilities. The committee will update members on the Act as we evaluate its impact on the needs of AEBC members.

In a related area, we will continue our research, started in March 2016, to obtain background information on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP) Agreement and its impact on copyright laws in Canada with the goal of letting AEBC members know more about the TTP and its impact on access to materials in alternative formats.

Committee Minutes

(No minutes posted)