Wednesday, August 15, 2012
HarperCollins Helps to Unlock the World of Margaret Mahy for the Visually Impaired
HarperCollins is the first NZ publisher to release two book titles that are in a format accessible to the visually impaired; as part of the international pilot project TIGAR. The Trusted Intermediary Global Access Resources (TIGAR) project was initiated by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) to enable the sharing of titles internationally for the blind, the visually impaired and also for those who are unable to turn the pages of a book.
Somewhat appropriately, the first two New Zealand titles to be released for visually impaired readers outside of New Zealand are ‘The Magician of the Hoad’ and ‘The Word Witch’ by the famous NZ author and, sadly, recently deceased Margaret Mahy.
Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) and The Royal NZ Foundation of the Blind have come together to participate in the TIGAR pilot project and are extremely pleased to be able to confirm the first two New Zealand titles. Paula Browning, CEO of Copyright Licensing New Zealand earlier today commented that “it feels pretty good to know that the books we have grown up with in New Zealand, will be available to the visually impaired and print disabled not just in New Zealand but worldwide.” Browning went on to say that “HarperCollins releasing titles from Margaret Mahy is just the beginning. Over the coming weeks / months we expect more to be confirmed from other participating publishers.”
Until now the number of books available to the print disabled has been extremely limited. Some key international publishers have signed up to the pilot including French publishers Hachette and Editis, Bloomsbury in the UK and HarperCollins in the US. Organisations in Canada and South Africa have also agreed to participate.