Support the Marrakesh Treaty

The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette.

To the editor:
Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand’s support is vital to passage of a bill which will expand opportunity for visually-impaired people here in Croton and worldwide. Passage of S.2559 will enable our libraries in Croton and Ossining to give the visually-impaired members of our community access to the same resources most of us currently take for granted.

Helen Keller

Helen Keller

Senate Bill 2559 is the next step in our nation implementing the Marrakesh Treaty, providing a limited copyright exemption for libraries to make information available to people with disabilities.

Locally, the Marrakesh Treaty will benefit visually-impaired people here in Croton and the surrounding community. In particular, the American Library Association notes that Spanish-speakers in the United States will benefit from increased ability to access native Spanish content from around the world. 

In developing countries, less than 1% of print content is accessible. We live in the information age, and excluding people from access to information means excluding them from participation in our society. By allowing import and export of existing accessible resources, we will avoid wasting money on duplicative transcription efforts and increase the amount of information available worldwide.

For more than a decade, advocates for the disabled have worked alongside academics, librarians, and diplomats to get to where we are now. The bill is currently in the Judiciary Committee.

Please call Sen. Schumer at (914) 734-1532 and Sen. Gillibrand at (845) 875-4585 and ask them to co-sponsor S.2559.

Paul Steinberg