General Manager Advocacy and Engagement at Vision Australia
Maryanne Diamond has been blind since birth and is currently Immediate Past President of the World Blind Union, having served as president from 2008-20012, Chair Elect of the International Disability Alliance, and General Manager Advocacy and Engagement at Vision Australia. Previously she was the Inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations and Executive Officer of Blind Citizens Australia. Since 2009, Diamond has been the head of the World Blind Union’s delegation at WIPO advocating the WBU’s Right to Read campaign to make books more accessible for all print-disabled people around the world. Less than 95% of all published materials (books, magazines, journals etc.) ever get converted into accessible formats (such as large print, Braille, or audio files) for blind, low vision and print disabled people to be able to read so they can enjoy the same knowledge, literature and culture as their sighted fellow citizens. In June 2013, as a direct result of World Blind Union’s work to unify international copyright laws, over 50 countries signed the Marrakesh Treaty. Diamond’s tireless work, along with that of her colleagues at the WBU, ensures that more blind youth will be able to read and enjoy the same books as their sighted peers, helping them connect with literature and the knowledge economy.