Accessible Books Consortium

About Us

The following organizations are involved in the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC):

Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To do that, our dedicated specialists work with people of all ages in their own homes, communities or local CNIB offices – providing the personalized rehabilitation support they need to see beyond vision loss, build their independence and lead the lives they want.

In addition to our community-based services, we also work hand-in-hand with Canadians who are blind or partially sighted to advocate for a barrier-free society, and we strive to eliminate avoidable sight loss with world-class research and by promoting the importance of vision health through public education.

DAISY Consortium

The DAISY Consortium is about creating the best way to read and publish. We are a global consortium of organizations committed to a common vision and mission, which pools and coordinates resources to change the way publishing works so people with print disabilities can read what they want, how they want, when they want.

Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind

For over six decades, Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind has been dedicated to the social inclusion of people with visual impairments, through the production and free distribution of braille, audio and digital talking books (DAISY), directly to persons with visual disabilities and more than 1,400 schools, libraries and organizations all over Brazil. The Dorina Nowill Foundation, a non-profit organization, also offers complimentary specialized services for the person with visual impairment and their families in the areas of special education, rehabilitation, subnormal vision clinical services and employability programs. Dorina Foundation is a full member of the DAISY Consortium and an Authorized Entity in the ABC Book Service (i.e., TIGAR). The Dorina Foundation offers an online library service where anyone can download public domain books, and registered users with visual impairment can access DAISY, audio and braille books.


Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 25,000 book titles, including major reference works such as Grey’s Anatomy. Elsevier’s online solutions include ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, Reaxys, ClinicalKey and Mosby’s Suite, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, helping research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively. 

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors.

International Authors Forum (IAF)

The IAF is a forum for discussion, debate and action on a global scale between organisations representing authors. IAF has been formed as a permanent international platform to ensure that the voice of authors is heard among others with rights and interests in creators’ work such as publishers and libraries, who already have globally representative bodies.

International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment

The International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) was founded in 1952. It is a global association of individuals and organizations that promotes equal access to appropriate education for all children who are visually impaired, and those with multiple disabilities so that they may achieve their full potential. ICEVI is a membership organization that brings together non-governmental organizations of and for the blind and individuals from across the world to facilitate the education of all children with visual impairment. The ICEVI presence spans across 7 regions including, Africa, West Asia, East Asia, Europe, Pacific, North America/Caribbean and Latin America. Currently, more than 4000 individuals and organizations in over 180 countries are actively involved in ICEVI. ICEVI works closely with International Non-Governmental Development Organizations (INGDOs) and UN bodies. in conjunction with the World Blind Union (WBU), ICEVI launched the EFA-VI (Education for All Visually Impaired Children) initiative. Since then, ICEVI has been instrumental in getting more than 100,000 children into school in more than a dozen "focus" countries, and in conducting capacity building programmes with 35,000 parents and teachers. But we are conscious that there is still a long way to go and that this is not something we can achieve on our own. That is why we are placing increased emphasis on developing partnerships with many different types of organizations, including, organizations in the visual impairment field, both organizations of the blind and INGDO's like CBM and Sightsavers; broader disability organizations like IDDC; broader education organizations like Handicap International and the Global Campaign for Education, and national governments, in an effort to persuade them to accept their responsibility to see to it that children who are visually impaired go to school. Access to information is at the heart of EFA-VI. We have sought to make textbooks in accessible formats a condition of grants from the World Bank to national programmes under the EFA initiative, and in a new development, we have decided to form a strategic partnership with the DAISY Consortium, an international consortium of expert organizations who collaborate to provide practical solutions for print disabled people.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)

IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. IFLA has 1500 Members in approximately 150 countries around the world. In line with its core values, IFLA participates in global discussions concerning freedom of access to information and freedom of expression. IFLA believes that people, communities and organizations need universal and equitable access to information, ideas and works of imagination for their social, educational, cultural, democratic and economic well-being.

International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO)

IFRRO is the main international body which links together members of the copyright community in the print and publishing sphere, with 144 member organisations in some 80 countries world-wide. It is an international, independent, non-profit organisation which is at the heart of rights management aiming to increase the lawful use of text and image based copyright works and to eliminate unauthorized copying by promoting efficient Collective Management of rights through Reproduction Rights Organisations to complement creators' and publishers' own activities.

IFRRO and its members play a key role in the development of cultural diversity, knowledge and education by helping to set up legal and administrative frameworks necessary for the growth of local publishing industries. They facilitate the widest possible legal access to published, copyright protected literary, visual and musical works. Their remit includes managing and licensing the reproduction and digital copying of text and image based works (such as books and journals) on behalf of rightholders. In 2012, RROs collected and distributed EUR 856 million to rightholders world-wide. In its worldwide development programmes, IFRRO partners organisations such as WIPO and UNESCO in undertaking copyright awareness campaigns and training local administrators and officials in rights management. It also interacts and collaborates actively with the various EU institutions.

Perkins School for the Blind

Perkins School for the Blind, founded in 1829 as the first school of its kind in the US, is a multifaceted organization working around the world to prepare children and young adults who are blind with the education, confidence and skills they need to realize their full potential.

International Publishers Association (IPA)

The IPA is an international industry federation representing all aspects of book and journal publishing. Established in 1896, IPA's mission is to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness for publishing as a force for economic, cultural and political development. Its membership comprises more than 60 organisations from more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. Around the world IPA actively fights against censorship and promotes copyright, literacy and freedom to publish. IPA is an industry association with a human rights mandate.

Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA)

PASA represents book and journal publishers in South Africa in the field of non-fiction, fiction, education, academic and trade publishing. The membership comprises the vast majority of South African publishing houses, for profit and non-profit, university presses, small and medium sized companies and multinational publishing enterprises. PASA is committed to the development of literacy; to creativity; to the unhindered flow of information and ideas; and promotes the contribution of literature in all its forms to social and economic development, both of communities and individuals.

The Association has declared that it is dedicated to “building trust, confidence and common ground among the publishing and blind communities in South Africa”. Its members have a long-standing co-operation with various institutions for persons who are print disabled like the South African Library for the Blind and Braille printers. The Association is a member of international organizations like the International Publishers Association (IPA), the African Publishers’ Network (APNET), a Pan-African publising industry organisation, and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO).


Sightsavers is an international organization that changes lives for the long term. We work in more than 30 countries to eliminate avoidable blindness and support people with visual impairments to live independently.

South African Library for the Blind

The South African Library for the Blind (SALB) started from humble beginnings in 1919 in Grahamstown – a small rural town in South Africa – and has since become the National Library for the Blind servicing the reading and information needs of blind and visually impaired people of South Africa. The mandate, role and function of the organisation is guided by the South African Library for the Blind Act 91 of 1996. Forty six full-time staff members serve 5,666 registered members across South Africa and membership is increasing annually. The Braille and Audio collection of the SALB consists of 24,000 titles. Three hundred new audio and braille titles are added to the collection annually and are produced in-house. The SALB also produces tactile picture books for pre-school children.

To expand services and to create a more inclusive society the SALB initiated a mini-library project. Under this project 28 accessible service points have been established in public libraries across South Africa. New service points are added each year. Blind people are able to access the library where there are assistive devices, computers linked to the internet, document readers and accessible reading material. All services and products are provided free of charge to registered members. This is possible because the SALB receives 92% of its budget from the Government of South Africa. The remaining budget needs are met through fundraising initiatives and donations. The SALB is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and plays an active role in the Section for Libraries Serving People with Print Disabilities.

World Blind Union (WBU)

The World Blind Union is the global organization representing the estimated 285 million people who are blind or partially sighted worldwide. We are blind men and women who advocate on our own behalf for full and equal participation in all aspects of community life. Our members are organizations of and for the blind in some 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment.

We work through our 6 regions: Africa, Asia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America & the Caribbean. We are governed by an officers board comprised of six region presidents and six internationally elected officers: Arnt Holte from Norway, Fredric Schroeder of the USA, Enrique Perez of Spain, Rina Prasarani of Indonesia, A.K. Mittal of India and Maryanne Diamond of Australia.


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation.

A specialized agency of the United Nations, we work with our 188 member states to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.