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Copying for disabilities

The Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Act 2002 enables visually impaired people to:

  • Make or have made copies of copyright material in a format best suited to them without requiring copyright clearance.

Changes to copyright regulations in June 2014 have updated restrictions for accessible copying to include all works and all types of disability (eg dyslexia, dyspraxia and deafness).

A single accessible copy of a copyright work can be made by or for a visually impaired, hearing impaired, dyslexic or otherwise impaired person under the following conditions:

  • A copy in a suitable format is not already commercially available.
  • The original copy should be a 'lawful' copy owned by the visually impaired person or by the library.
  • The copy must not be placed in a short loan collection.
  • The copy must clearly state that it was made under the provisions of the Act.
  • The source of the copy must be clearly acknowledged.
  • Multiple copies can be made providing a copy is not already commercially available under the Higher Education Licence.
  • Subtitles and audio voiceover are also now permitted.

Any costs charged must be 'reasonable ' and should not exceed the making and supplying of the copy.

Further advice on the Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Act 2002 can be found on the website and guidance on the new disability provisions for 2014 can be found at the JISClegal website.

This information is also available in a bigger font as a PDF leaflet:

Copyright for disabilities

Page last updated on Tuesday 26 July 2016 at 11.12am.


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