WIPO DG Praises Accessible Books Consortium in Opening Address at General Assembly

October 12, 2015

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Francis Gurry opened the Assemblies of the WIPO Member States on October 5, 2015 by noting the progress in public-private partnerships undertaken by the Organization. In particular, he made reference to the work of the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC).

“In its first year of operation, ABC’s Book Service has facilitated the lending of accessible books to 31,000 persons who are print disabled, and has achieved a number of other significant milestones.  In each of these public-private partnerships, the private sector is making available or donating intellectual and financial assets.  In each, the major beneficiary is persons and institutions in developing countries.”

DG's opening address to the WIPO Assemblies: Watch on YouTube | Full text

The ABC has achieved the following since its launch in June 2014:

  • 290,000 titles held in the ABC Book Service (i.e. the TIGAR Exchange) in over 55 languages.
  • Over 31,000 persons who are print disabled borrowed accessible books.
  • Libraries saved USD 6million in production costs by being able to download 3,000 electronic books into their collections.
  • Over 1,580 educational books in accessible formats were produced in national languages to benefit 23,500 print disabled students in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.