Senator is co-author of law that provides national rules for connecting millions of Americans who are blind and deaf to the Internet


Washington (July 5, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), member of the Foreign Relations Committee and longtime champion for people with sensory disabilities, released the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act and the resolution of advice and consent to ratification for the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities.


“I am thrilled that the United States will join the 35 other countries that have agreed to share braille books, audiobooks, and other published materials across borders and around the world,” said Senator Markey. “By increasing the availability of such materials, this treaty will help millions of blind and visually-impaired people afford and access books and other written works that capture our imagination, foster education, and support economic opportunity.”


The Marrakesh Treaty has already been signed by Australia, Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Israel, Kenya, Kyrgyz, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Nigeria, North Korea, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay.


The Marrakesh Treaty is supported by The American Council of the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind, National Federation of the Blind, American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Authors Guild, Benetech, National Music Publishers Association, and the Perkins School for the Blind.


Senator Markey’s 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) mandates accessibility of devices and services for the millions of Americans with disabilities and enabled the use of a wide range of devices and services needed in the digital era.