Laws and Regulations

In 1930, identical bills were introduced in Congress by Representative Ruth Pratt (H.R. 11365) and Senator Reed Smoot (S. 4030), to provide adequate service on a national scale through an appropriation to be expended under the direction of the Librarian of Congress. The Pratt-Smoot Act became law on March 3, 1931. The following laws and regulations authorize the provision of library service to people who are blind or have a visual, physical, perceptual, or reading disability that prevents them from reading or handling print materials.

Free Matter for the Blind

Congress established the first Free Matter for the Blind mailing program by providing a funding subsidy to the post office for individual correspondence and organizations mailing braille materials, including libraries for the blind. 

Marrakesh Treaty

The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, or “Marrakesh Treaty,” provides for the exchange of accessible-format books across international borders by organizations (that are Authorized Entities) that serve people who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled. 

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