Association of American Publishers Endorses
United Nations Pilot Project
Improving Access to Books Worldwide
for the Blind and Visually-Impaired

Friday, 14 October 2011 | Andi Sporkin

Washington, DC and Frankfurt, Germany; October 14, 2011 — The Association of American Publishers, the U.S. trade association, is endorsing a United Nations pilot project that will explore the viability of a license-based worldwide exchange of copyrighted books in formats accessible for people who are blind, visually-impaired or have other print disabilities.

AAP joined global colleagues today, including the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Publishers Association (IPA), at a press conference held at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair.

TIGAR, the Trusted Intermediary Global Accessible Resources pilot project coordinated by WIPO, will study the feasibility of using licensing arrangements between publishers and identified Trusted Intermediaries worldwide — non-profit or government-based organizations such as libraries, archives and agencies — to exchange electronic files and produce alternate formats deemed user-friendly for those who are visually challenged.

“The U.S. publishing community has been actively involved in expanding accessibility for blind and visually impaired American readers and we welcome the invitation to help test this experiment, which has great potential reach beyond our national borders,” said Tom Allen, President and CEO, AAP. “The TIGAR concept seeks to offer improved availability, discovery and delivery of content in viable formats for persons with print disabilities through a virtual global collection of accessible books, produced in a streamlined, cost-effective way while protecting copyright.

“We are pleased to join in the support of this project and we are recommending that AAP members consider participation in the testing.”

More information about the worldwide pilot project can be found at WIPO TIGAR Project

AAP is the national trade association representing nearly more than 250 premier U.S. publishers of high-quality entertainment, education, professional and scholarly content — produced using the most current technology, reaching the world. For more information, visit www.publishers.org

Media contact:
Andi Sporkin
Vice President, Communications
AAP
asporkin@publishers.org and (1) 202-220-4554