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New standards for accessibility

Waterfield designed and facilitated collaborative forums for the Australian Publishers Association to achieve consensus and defined actions to enable the Marrakesh Treaty of Australia. 



The Marrakesh Treaty was formulated in Morocco to allow copyright exception and aid the creation of books and other copyright material in accessible formats for the visually impaired, with Australia being one of the signatories.

The Australian Publishers’ Association, represent a large array of publishing businesses, identified the importance of collaboration in rolling out the implications of the Treaty.

Two Australian forums were held with representatives from the Department of Education, libraries, publishers, authors and literary agents, people with disability as well as the Copyright Agency and the Australian Digital Alliance attending. Each with unique views on the copyright debate.



The team at Waterfield were engaged to facilitate these forums with the Australian Publishers Association.  Waterfield’s unique approach to facilitation allowed the goals and outcomes to be established and agreed upon by those most affected by the implications of the Treaty.  


Gaining consensus in a collaborative process with these key groups of representatives paved an agreed approach forward to implementing the Marrakesh Treaty in Australia which was the key objective. Along with an agreed way forward, Waterfield's strategic approach also enabled the group to rapidly map key actionable outcomes forming a clear vision of what needed to happen next to drive this project forward.


An exciting strategic outcome of ‘defining the book of the future’ is certainly coming to fruition. In the next 12 months, the forum has committed to a set of outcomes and strategic investments. This includes the publication of a plain English guide to accessibility standards as well as piloting 10 titles of different types of publications carrying the new standards.

The organisations involved in the forum are now taking a proactive rather than reactive approach to redefining the book of the past into something much more accessible for the visually impaired, those with literacy and language difficulties, moving to a more inclusive approach to publishing knowledge and information.

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'Waterfield have been critical in the success of the Marrakesh Treaty Forum. Waterfield’s rapid consensus methodology was the perfect means of bringing together disparate organisations and uniting them under one clear aim- to increase accessible content for the print disabled.'
Sarah Runcie, Strategy and Policy
Australian Publishers Association

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