Agreement Finalized for the “Treaty for the Blind”

The video for this lesson contains time sensitive information. Developments in the project discussed in the video which occurred after the release date are not covered in the video or this curriculum. See “Follow-Up Assignments” below for a way of addressing this fact in your lesson plan.

Lesson title

Agreement Finalized for the “Treaty for the Blind”

Video title, link and release date

Agreement Finalized for the “Treaty for the Blind”, June 30, 2013

Video Length

Two minutes, fifty-seven seconds

Grade Level

High school


In Morocco on June 26th, negotiators at the World Intellectual Property Organization Diplomatic Conference agreed to finalize a treaty, which calls for copyright exceptions to be made for converting books into accessible formats.

President of the National Federation of the Blind Marc Maurer claims that this historic treaty is the first international instrument that specifically addresses the needs of the world’s blind.

Once ratified, the treaty will dramatically increase access to published works for a community that has traditionally faced challenges obtaining the world’s knowledge.

Review Questions

1. What are some examples of accessible formats?


2. How many UN member states need to ratify the treaty in order for it to go into effect?


3. How far back in time can the roots of this negotiation be traced back to?


Freewriting “Journal” Prompt

What about this report do you have questions about?

What other reasons can you give that would explain why special interest groups, like the Motion Picture Association of America, might have searched for loopholes in this treaty?

What do you want to know more about?