ABC Marks Two Years of Growth

June 30, 2016

Two years after its launch on June 30, 2014, the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is celebrating positive results in all three of its main areas of activity, aimed at increasing the availability worldwide of books in accessible formats for people who are blind, have low vision or are otherwise print disabled.

Sharing of accessible books

The ABC Book Service – a global online catalogue of books in accessible formats hosted by WIPO – has so far facilitated the loans of accessible books to 79,000 people through its 19 participating libraries in 16 countries. It currently contains 315,000 titles in more than 55 languages.

“…I cannot begin to tell you what a difference you are all making in her life. Losing her sight so quickly had her depressed and angry. Hearing her laughing and having her rush to tell me which books arrived in the mail is like interacting with another woman. You should all feel very proud of what you do and the daily difference you make in so many lives!
Letter sent on behalf of a reader who is print disabled to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, about books loaned via the ABC Book Service.

Capacity building

ABC capacity-building activities in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka last year benefitted over 23,500 students who are print disabled. The second phase starts in July with funding from the Governments of Australia and the Republic of Korea, the Skoll Foundation and the United Nations Foundation and aims to benefit some 88,500 more students in these four countries. A moving film, produced by the ABC, follows the story of one of the beneficiaries - 15 year old Nidhi in India who lost her eyesight in an accident as a small child.

Resources and awards

Nidhi (in yellow), and a classmate in Bihar province, India, learning how to use their smartphones to read accessible textbooks produced in an ABC technical assistance project. (Photo: WIPO)

The ABC thanks all our partners and supporters and looks forward to another fruitful year.