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Staffordshire University Copyright Guidance

A guide to best practices with copyright


Exceptions to copyright exist for the benefit of disabled people.  These exceptions apply to mental and physical impairments, as well as cogntive disabilities such as dyslexia, when they prevent someone accessing a copyright work to the same extent as someone without a disability.

This may include:

  • making Braille, audio or large-print copies of books, newspapers or magazines for visually impaired people
  • adding audio description to films or broadcasts for visually impaired people
  • making subtitled films or broadcasts for deaf or hard of hearing people
  • making accessible copies of books, newspapers or magazines for dyslexic people

Exception 1:  Individuals, or someone acting on their behalf (for example a parent or carer), can make a copy of a work in a format that is accessible to them (an 'accessible copy') which is strictly for their own personal use.

Exception 2: Authorised bodies (for example educational institutions or charities) can create and make available an 'accessible copy' to disabled persons which is strictly for their own personal use.

Accessible copies can be part of, or the whole of, a copyright work, but there are certain legal requirements that need to be met in order for the exception to apply.  These include:

  • the accessible copy must have been made from a legally-accessed original (the individual must own an original copy, or an authorised body should own or subscribe to it).
  • the original can only be altered in ways that are absolutely necessary to enable it to be into an accessible format.

For further information on exceptions to copyright law for disabled people please refer to the Intellectual Property Office web pages.

The Library provides an accessible format service for students who are referred by the Student Inclusion Team.  Please see our Accessibility Support pages to see how we can help.