CLA Introduces New Licence to Help People with Print Disabilities

28th May 2010

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) today launches a new ‘Print Disability Licence’, This free licence allows organisations to reproduce copyright works in a format accessible to people with print disabilities, such as large print, braille or audiobooks, and circulate them to people with print disabilities in the community. 

The licence has been upgraded to reflect a recent widening of the definitions of print disability  to include not just those people who have a visual impairment but also those with another disability that prevents them from reading books as easily as others. The definitions now include dyslexic readers following a request by the industry’s Accessibility Action Group and the Right to Read Alliance.    

Anna Tylor, Chair of the Right to Read Alliance, says: 

“Access to books is vital for education, employment and for the pure pleasure of reading.  We appreciate the co-operation we have received from the CLA and publishers in improving access to print material for people with print impairments particularly dyslexia.”  

Mike Lewington, Vice Chair of the Alliance and Director of Calibre Audio Library, a producer of audio books, welcomes the new licence; 

“We are delighted that we can now give the same quality of service to people with print impairments and those with sight problems. When the 2002 Copyright Act came in, it created an uneven playing field because there were books in our library which we couldn’t lend to dyslexic members.  It was difficult for us but far worse for them. Now at last all everyone is equal.”  

The licence would not work without the support and co-operation of the publishing industry and the CLA is grateful to members of the Accessibility Action Group who were supportive. Dr Alicia Wise, Chair of the Accessibility Action Group, is delighted to see the licence launched and the positive impact that the changes in the licence will have for people with a broader range of print disabilities; 

“Authors and publishers love readers of all kinds, and are of course keen to find way to make more titles accessible to people with print disabilities.  The CLA licence provides a really important safety net by enabling accessible copies to be made when an appropriate version is not available commercially.” 

The licence is being issued to all of CLA’s existing ‘VIP Licence’ customers and will be in use with immediate effect. For more information about the new licence or the work of the CLA, please contact or call Paul Rollins on 020 7400 3140   


  • Some two million people in the UK are blind or partially sighted and find it difficult or impossible to read books, magazines and newspapers in standard print.

  • Dyslexia affects one in ten of the UK population to varying degrees of severity, including 1.2 million children of school age.

 The Alliance is made up of 19 charities that represent the interests of people who are unable to read standard print books. This includes both national charities and those that specialize in producing material in accessible formats.

The Accessibility Action Group is a forum that brings together a wide array of publishing industry organisations to help meet the needs of reading impaired people, and to co-ordinate the publishing industry's response and contribution to the overall aim of improving access to publications for those who are blind, visually impaired or have other difficulties in using standard print. The task of this group is to achieve an overarching perspective on the issues; to facilitate exchanges of information on current projects and ideas across the publishing industry; to act as a clearing house for information; and to alert the industry about relevant developments.  The group produces a quarterly Publishing Accessibility Newsletter. 

More information is available at: 

The Right to Read Alliance campaigns for people who have sightproblems, dyslexia or other disabilities to be able to buy or borrowbooks which they can read at the same time as everyone else,without having to pay extra. For more information email; The CLA works on behalf of publishers, authors and visual artists to protect the value of their creativity by rewarding them when their work is copied.

Automated Content Access Protocol Alliance for IP