Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thank You!

I want to Thank Anyone who may have helped with this!  You have made a difference for print disabled people, world wide!

Dear Bookshare Supporter,
We wanted to follow up on our last email regarding the “Treaty for the Blind” to
share some exciting news: we have a treaty…and it’s great!
Thanks to the petition signing, the calls, and the public conversation you helped
generate, the United States government stood up to private interests who sought to
derail the progress we’ve made. Ultimately, the United States delegation helped to
negotiate a treaty that will make it possible for people who are blind, or have other
print disabilities such as dyslexia, to get access to the books they need no matter
where they live.
So what does the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons
Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled” mean for Bookshare?
Ideally, that we can serve more users better! Once the United States ratifies the
treaty, it will be possible for Bookshare to get more content for Americans from
more sources outside of the United States and in more languages. It will also be
possible for Bookshare to deliver our entire library—instead of only the titles we
have permissions from publishers to share—to people with print disabilities living
in other countries.
This is extremely exciting, but to be clear, things won’t change right away. In fact,
it could take up to a year, maybe much longer, for the United States to ratify the
treaty. That’s why Benetech will continue working with coalition partners, like the
National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind, to determine
the best path forward to ratification.
As we move forward, we will update you with any major news—whether it’s big progress
we’ve made or big roadblocks we’ve encountered. We may also need to call on the support
and power of the Bookshare community again to help key decision makers see the impact
Bookshare is having on your lives. In the meantime, you can always visit the
Bookshare Blog
 for updates.
Again, thank you. Your support and action helped us to achieve a historic treaty
that will change the lives of millions around the world.
Jim Fruchterman & Betsy Beaumon
Note: This advocacy effort by Benetech, the nonprofit organization that operates
Bookshare, has not been supported or endorsed by Bookshare funders, including the
U.S. Department of Education.
Click to view this email in a browser!

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