[Mm-friends] FW: URGENT: Bookshare Needs Your Help

Chase Crispin chase at acbradio.org
Mon May 27 14:19:24 EDT 2013



From: Bookshare [mailto:Bookshare at mail.vresp.com] 
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 6:52 PM
To: chase.crispin at gmail.com
Subject: URGENT: Bookshare Needs Your Help

Dear Chase,
It's not typical for us to send you an email like this, but we felt this
situation was so important it was necessary.
You may already be aware, but for years negotiations have been moving
forward on what many have come to call the "Treaty
<http://cts.vresp.com/c/?Benetech/39440e0084/f07aa9844f/8f3cf35b96> for the
Blind." The goal of the international treaty is to make it possible for
people who are blind, or have other print disabilities such as dyslexia, to
get access to the books they need for education, employment and inclusion in
society-no matter where they live. It's something we already do, with great
success, in the United States through Bookshare.

However, private interests are trying to alter the treaty in such a way that
it would become useless-even harmful. For example, they're trying to get
language adopted that basically says: "if you can buy it, you can't borrow
it." This is not only an attack on people around the world with print
disabilities-it's also an attack on libraries, like Bookshare, and could
have a drastic effect on the number of books you have access to.
Our biggest worry is this becoming a treaty that could stop Bookshare from
serving our users in the United States the way we do today.  We need our
government negotiating for a treaty that supports a library like Bookshare.
That's why we're working with a coalition of disability and library groups,
including the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of
the Blind, to fight back against the proposed changes by these private
interests. We'll do everything we can to secure a treaty that both protects
the access we have now and that will benefit people with print disabilities
around the world-but we need your help.
We're asking you to take a moment to sign a petition on the White House's
website that urges the President to step up his support:
http://ow.ly/lkJVs. If we can get to 100,000 signatures, the White House is
required to respond to the petition and will, hopefully, take positive
action. With your help we know we can reach that number.  We also recommend
et=1> petition at the National Federation of the Blind's site, which is
particularly accessible.
Thank you for your time and support. Together, we believe that our
collective voice can make a real impact.
If you're interested in more background on the treaty, here are some
articles and resources you can review: 

*	Huffington Post piece by Jim on how the treaty is being poisoned by
private interests:

*	WIRED Magazine article that gives some recent updates on the treaty:

Jim Fruchterman & Betsy Beaumon, Bookshare
P.S. Please post the link to the White House petition on your social media
to help spread the word and get your friends involved! Again, here is the
link:  <http://cts.vresp.com/c/?Benetech/39440e0084/f07aa9844f/49dfd2f0c1>
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.   


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