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Accessibility Services

While most of the Library Collection is now delivered via electronic databases which meet the highest of accessibility standards for low-vision users (i.e. compatible with screen readers, text-to-talk, etc.), there may be instances where students seek to request items in more accessible formats.

s113F of the Copyright Act 1968 allows an exception to infringement when using copyright material if the sole purpose is for assisting one or more persons with a disability to access the material in a format that the person or persons require because of the disability (whether the access is provided by or on behalf of the organisation or by another body or person). The University has to be satisfied that the material (or a relevant part of the material) cannot be obtained in that format within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.

Further more, s113E of the Act allows a fair dealing exception if the dealing is for the purpose of one or more persons with a disability having access to copyright material (whether the dealing is by any of those persons or by another person). The matters to which regard must be had, in determining whether the dealing is a fair dealing for the purposes of this section, include the following matters:

(a)  the purpose and character of the dealing

(b)  the nature of the copyright material;

(c)  the effect of the dealing upon the potential market for, or value of, the material;

(d)  if only part of the material is dealt with--the amount and substantiality of the part dealt with, taken in relation to the whole material.

Disability is defined as “a disability that causes the person difficulty in reading, viewing, hearing or comprehending copyright material in a particular form”. This would include students with vision impairment, students who are unable to hold or manipulate books, students with an intellectual disability and students with general learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Interaction between the two disability copying exceptions

When considering which - if any - of the two disability exceptions applies to what you want to do, you need to ask: is my intended use likely to satisfy the fairness factors in the fair dealing for disability exception? If so, you can rely on that exception regardless of whether the material that your student requires can be purchased in the required format. 

If your intended use would not come within the fair dealing for disability exception, then you need to consider whether the organisation disability exception would apply. If the copyright material your student requires can be obtained in the required format within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price, you cannot rely on this exception. In this case, your only option will be to purchase a copy of the content you require.

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