The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will celebrate this year's World Book and Copyright Day with a major focus on the needs of the blind to have easy access to printed materials.
"In accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UNESCO advocates for the rights and needs of persons with disabilities and encourages the effective use of accessible, adaptive and affordable ICTs," said the Paris-based UN body.
Less than 10 percent of the millions of books published worldwide each year are published in formats accessible to the blind. The figure fell to 1 percent in developing countries, according to the World Blind Union (WBU).
"World Book and Copyright Day is an opportunity to highlight the power of books to promote our vision of knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all citizens," said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.
Working on improving the blinds' "effective participation in society" by facilitating access to books, UNESCO is organizing on April 24 a conference on accessibility issues, entitled "Accessibility, what are the challenges in publishing?"
Celebrated every year on April 23, the World Book and Copyright Day is an opportunity "to promote reading, publishing and protection of intellectual property," UNESCO said in a press release.
For this year, Guinea's capital Conakry is named World Book Capital "on account of the quality and diversity of its program," in particular " its focus on community involvement," as well as "for its well-structured budget and clear development goals with a strong emphasis on youth and literacy," it added.