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

Carrie Francis carrieefrancis at sympatico.ca
Mon May 27 15:18:02 EDT 2013

Why can't Canadians sign this petition? This effects us, too!
From: chase at acbradio.org
To: mm-friends at acbradio.org
Date: Mon, 27 May 2013 13:19:24 -0500
Subject: [Mm-friends] FW: URGENT: Bookshare Needs Your Help

URGENT: Bookshare Needs Your Help


From: Bookshare 
[mailto:Bookshare at mail.vresp.com] 
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 6:52 
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 
You may already be aware, but for years negotiations 
have been moving forward on what many have come to call the "Treaty 
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 
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 
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: 
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 the 
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 
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: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-fruchterman/poisoning-the-treaty-for-_b_3225181.html 

  WIRED Magazine article that gives some recent updates on the 
  treaty: http://ow.ly/lfP15 
Jim Fruchterman & Betsy Beaumon, 
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://ow.ly/lkJVs. 

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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