The visually-impaired should be able to learn in school, Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr. John Asein, has said.
According to him, it is lamentable that less than one per cent of learning materials is the accessible to the visually-impaired in Nigeria.
To reverse this trend, the NCC will, in October, begin its ‘Let the Blind Read’ campaign to foster the reading culture among the virtually-impaired.
He spoke yesterday during a visit to The Nation head office in Lagos. He was received by the Editor, Adeniyi Adesina, Online Editor Sunday Oguntola, Assistant Editor (Arts) Ozolua Uhakheme and Senior Correspondent (Arts) Evelyn Osagie. Two NCC officials – Joni Icheka (Special Adviser in the Commission) and Olumide Oduntan (Assistant Director) accompanied the DG.
Asein called on authors and publishers to increase the production and conversion of learning materials, like books, into formats that will be accessible to the visually-impaired.
He said: “We at the NCC want revamp the narrative in the creative sector, and ensure the return of intellectual investment in every front. The Copyright Act provides a special exception to the blind and the visually-impaired to be given access to learning materials. And the copyrights commission is committed, not only to having it in the law, but translating that to real dividends. We want to see that work in the life of the beneficiaries.
“So ‘Let the blind Read’ is our campaign; that is the slogan we want to strengthen.”
The DG also presented an honorary award to The Nation for its contributions towards the recently passed Copyright Act, the fight against copyright infringement, as well as literacy and culture, among other causes.
He hailed The Nation for its efforts in promoting the creative sector, particularly copyright issues through its Arts and Life Desk, saying the media has a significant role in nation-building.
“We do not take that for granted, people read The Nation and we thank you for giving visibility to the copyright story. It was Chimamanda that talked about the dangers of the single story, and I say this is the value of the multiple stories. It is good to have multiple stories about copyright system in Nigeria. And when you have different sectors talking about it, then it resonates more with people.
“When they read about copyrights in The Nation and they know strength of the Arts desk, they are assured of the value of the copyright system. We could have told the story from our own single narrative and make the same impact.”