Guidelines for Assisting People with Disabilities

There are a number of provisions in the Copyright Act that will allow material to be reproduced in accessible formats to assist people with disabilities. The intended purpose and audience will determine which provision will apply. In most circumstances, the situation will need to be judged on a case-by-case basis. These guidelines, which outline the various provisions and how they can be used to assist people with disabilities, may assist. For further advice please contact the Copyright Officer.

Print Disability Provisions

The print disability provisions allow the University to reproduce and communicate literary and dramatic works to assist students with print disabilities. The provision only applies to students with a print disability. The Copyright Act defines a print disability as:
  • a person without sight;
  • a person whose sight is severely impaired;
  • a person unable to hold or manipulate books or to focus or move their eyes; or
  • a person with a perceptual disability.
In addition, only literary and dramatic works (or published editions) can be copied under the print disability provisions. Musical works such as sheet or notated music are not included. Literary or dramatic works & published editions can be copied in full in any required accessible format, e.g. Braille, large print, sound recording, photographic or electronic format so long as the work is not commercially available in the required format. For example, if a large print copy of a course text book was available for sale, a copy would need to be purchased rather than reproduced in large print. The print disability provisions can be used to reproduce material to assist a student for any purpose, e.g. educational purposes, research & study, as well as recreational or private use. If you wish to reproduce material other literary or dramatic works or for other disabilities, you will need to rely on one of the other provisions. Any material reproduced under the print disability provisons must also compile with the following requirements:
  • it is solely for the purpose of assisting students with print disabilities
  • the reproduction cannot be sold or hired out
  • a written notice must be given to the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) within 3 months informing them of the reproduction or communication and must include the following details:
    • the name of the University
    • details of the work reproduced or communicated (i.e. author, title, publication details)
    • date on which the reproduction or communication was made
  • any reproductions must be marked as follows: This is a reproduction made on [day on which the reproduction was made] by Flinders University in reliance on section 135ZQ of the Copyright Act 1968, solely for use by a person with a print disability. If the reproduction is a sound recording, then this message should be included at the beginning of the sound recording.

Intellectual Disability Provisions

The intellectual disability provisions allow the University to reproduce and communicate material to assist students with intellectual disabilities. The provision only applies to students with an intellectual disability. The Copyright Act does not provide a definition of an intellectual disability. If you are unsure if someone has an intellectual disability, you should seek advice from a medical or health professional. The intellectual disability provisions allow any material to be reproduced or communicated in an accessible format so long as the required format is not commercially available. This includes making translations and picture versions of literary and dramatic works. The intellectual disability provisions can be used to reproduce material to assist a student for any purpose, e.g. educational purposes, research & study, as well as recreational or private use. If you wish to reproduce material for other disabilities, you will need to rely on one of the other provisions. Any material reproduced under the intellectual disability provisons must also comply with the following requirements:
  • it is solely for the purpose of assisting students with intellectual disabilities
  • the reproduction can not be sold or hired out
  • a written notice must be given to the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) informing them of the reproduction or communication and must include the following details:
    • the name of the University
    • details of the work reproduced or communicated (i.e. author, title, publication details)
    • date on which the reproduction or communication was made
  • any reproductions must be marked as follows: This is a reproduction made on [day on which the reproduction was made] by Flinders University in reliance on section 135ZT of the Copyright Act 1968, solely for use by a person with an intellectual disability. If the reproduction is a sound recording, then this message should be included at the beginning of the sound recording.

Statutory Licences for Educational Purposes

The University has two statutory licences for reproducing and communicating copyright material for educational purposes. The licences can be used to assist students with disabilities as material can be reproduced under the licences in hardcopy or electronic formats and in accessible formats such as Braille or large print. The licences can be used to assist students with any disability, not just print or intellectual. The licences are:
  • Part VA - Copying and communicating TV and Radio Broadcasts
  • Part VB - Copying and communicating text and images
The licences can only be used to reproduce material for educational purposes, so if the student requires the material for recreational or private use, it can not be copied. Films and Sound Recordings are not covered by the licences unless they have been broadcast on TV and radio. There is a Music Licence that allows recorded music to be reproduced or performed for educational purposes. Under the Part VB licence, there are limits on the amount of material that can be copied. If the student requires the whole work to be reproduced in accessible format, this may not be possible under the statutory licences. However, most prescribed readings would be able to be reproduced in accessible formats. Other conditions and limitations apply. For full details see: Guidelines for Using Copyright Material for Educational Purposes

Fair Dealing for purpose of research & study

The Fair Dealing provision allow individuals to reproduce copyright material for the purpose of research & study. Material can be reproduced in any format, including accessible formats. Usually, under fair dealing, the individual makes the reproduction for themselves. If this is not possible due to the nature of the disability, please contact the Copyright Officer. Fair Dealing for the purpose of research & study is limited to research & study, it does not include recreational or private use. Research & study is not limited to a formal, enrolled course of study, it can also cover informal research & study. There are also some limitations on the amount and types of material that can be copied. For full details see: Fair Dealing for Research & Study.

Personal Use

The Personal Use provisions allow works in books, newspapers and periodical publications to be reproduced in different formats for personal use. However the individual must own an original/legal copy of the work being reproduced. This provision may be some use to some students with disabilities to format shift a book, newspaper or periodical that they own into an accessible format.

s 200AB - "Certain Special Purposes"

s 200AB allows copyright material to be reproduced for "certain special purposes" without needing permission from the copyright owner. This provision provides some flexibility in reproducing material for students with disabilities in circumstances where the other provisions cannot be applied. However the use of s 200AB is at present very uncertain. The scope of the provision is narrow and there are many tests that must be cleared before a copy can be made. These are:
  • A reproduction can only be made by an educational institution; a library or archive ;or by or on behalf of a person with a disability. It must conform to one of three corresponding purposes. It must be for the purpose of:
    • giving educational instruction by an educational institution
    • ‘maintaining or operating the Library or archive…’
    • reducing the difficulty of accessibility
  • Cost recovery is permitted, but not commercial advantage.
  • Reproduction of copyright material under s 200AB must comply with the three-step test as established in international treaties including the Berne Convention and the TRIPS agreement. To comply with this test:
    • The use must be limited to a ‘special case’
    • The use must not conflict with ‘normal exploitation’ of the work
    • The use must not ‘unreasonably prejudice’ the ‘legitimate interests’ of the creator
  • The use is further restricted by sub-s (6) which states that s 200AB cannot be used if the use would be covered by another exception or by a statutory licence.
At present, any use of s 200AB by members of the University should be referred to the Copyright Officer who is taking advice from Universities Australia on this issue.

Seeking Permission

If the required material can not be reproduced in accessible format under any of these provisions, permission can always be sought from the copyright owner.

Further Information

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