About Us

In June 2014 WIPO and a group of key partners launched the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) to boost the number of books in accessible formats for people around the globe who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled.

The ABC secretariat is located at WIPO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. ABC has an advisory board that provides technical expertise, ensures transparency and efficient communication with the stakeholder community.

Contact us
Photo of ABC partners at the inauguration of the Consortium
ABC partners officially inaugurated the Consortium at a ceremony during the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights in Geneva on June 30, 2014 (Photo: WIPO).

Structure

The ABC Advisory Board comprises a maximum of 19 members and is chaired by the WIPO Director General. It includes:

  • Four organizations representing people with print disabilities, with a seat reserved for the World Blind Union.
  • Four organizations representing authorized entities or standard bodies, with a seat reserved for the DAISY Consortium.
  • Five organizations representing copyright owners, with seats reserved for the International Authors Forum, the International Publishers Association, and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations.
  • Up to five donors, who have provided more than CHF 200,000 in a biennium.

Organizations that do not have a permanent seat sit on the ABC Board for a term of three years, with the possibility of renewal for one additional, and final term.

History

In November 2008, WIPO’s member states began addressing the issue of the global book famine. These negotiations resulted in the adoption of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty in June 2013, which came into force on September 30, 2016 after 20 WIPO Member States ratified the Treaty.

In parallel to the commencement of the negotiations, under the formerly named Vision IP initiative, WIPO invited key stakeholders to form a Stakeholders’ Platform to work on a number of practical pilot projects, reporting regularly to WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) on their activities.

In May 2014, the Stakeholders’ Platform recommended to WIPO's member states to move from this initial pilot phase to a permanent structure, replacing Vision IP. The resulting Accessible Books Consortium was launched in June 2014.