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CDNLAO Newsletter

No. 96, August 2020

Special topic: Library services for persons with disabilities

Services for persons with disabilities at the National Diet Library

By National Diet Library, Japan

The National Diet Library (NDL) began to provide services for persons with disabilities in 1975. Since then, the NDL has been focusing on services through support for and cooperation with other libraries or institutions. In 2014, the NDL launched the service "Data Transmission Service for Persons with Print Disabilities". This service provides data via the internet for domestic users with print disabilities due to visual, upper limb or developmental disabilities. Currently more than 130 libraries in Japan are participating in the service.
In January 2019, the terms of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (Marrakesh Treaty) (link to WIPO) came into effect in Japan. This article introduces two NDL topics for 2019 related to the Marrakesh Treaty.

Data Transmission Service for Persons with Print Disabilities Available Outside Japan

In October 2019, the NDL expanded the Data Transmission Service for Persons with Print Disabilities to overseas users.
This service is available to persons with print disabilities living in Marrakesh Treaty countries. The data provided through the service is collected by the NDL from various institutions or prepared by the NDL itself. As of April 2020, the total number of data available is about 26,000, more than 90% of which is audio-only DAISY.

Available data (as of April 30, 2020)
  Produced by NDL Collected from other institutions Total
Audio-only DAISY 1,721 22,469 24,190
DAISY multimedia 0 69 69
Text-only DAISY 3 32 35
EPUB 15 1 16
Plain text 0 207 207
Braille data 21 1,626 1,647
Total 1,760 24,404 26,164

The service is provided through the "Material search for persons with disabilities" option in NDL Search. Individual users need to register with the NDL when using the service directly from home.

< Material Search for Persons with Disabilities (NDL Search) >

International Book Data Services Launched under the Marrakesh Treaty

In November 2019, the NDL launched an international exchange service that provides DAISY, braille, text and other accessible book data for persons with print disabilities.
In conjunction with the launch of this service, the NDL joined the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) Global Book Service, a global catalog of book data for persons with print disabilities. Through the Service, individuals and libraries in Japan can request the NDL to order the data produced in Contracting Parties of the Marrakesh Treaty. At the same time, qualified persons with print disabilities and Authorized Entities outside Japan can obtain the data registered in the NDLís Data Transmission Service for Persons with Print Disabilities.


The NDL developed the Implementation Plan for Library Services for People with Disabilities 2017Ė2020 (in Japanese) to improve services for patrons with disabilities. Based on the plan, the NDL works on various actions.
In June 2019, the Act on Promotion of Development of Reading Environment for Persons with Print Disabilities (Law No. 49, June 28, 2019) was enacted in Japan. This act is aimed at bringing about a society that enables all citizens to enjoy reading, regardless of whether they are disabled or not. The NDL is also required to promote the principles of the act in cooperation with relevant organizations.
The NDL will continue our efforts to expand the opportunity to read books for persons with print disabilities, both in Japan and overseas.

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