India’s Online Accessible Library Goes Live

September 2, 2016

India’s largest collection of online accessible books called “Sugamya Pustakalay” was launched last week. This marks a huge step forward for the print-disabled community, since this online collection is a centralized repository of all accessible books available in the country. 

The online accessible library was created in order to make accessible content directly available to people who are print-disabled, as well as through schools, libraries, and NGOs. Over 200,000 books are already available via this online library, thanks to the large contribution of Bookshare to the catalogue of accessible books along with content from not for profit and government organisations from the country. Accessible books produced through funding provided by the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) are also contained in the online library.  The technical platform was developed and donated by TCS Access ∞.

Marrakesh Treaty

India was the first country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (the Marrakesh Treaty) and it is well-timed that the online accessible library is now available one month before the treaty will come into force on September 30, 2016.

Dipendra Manocha (left), leading a seminar on reading and writing technology options for persons with blindness or low vision in Lucknow, July 2016.(Photo: Saksham)

This is a moment of victory for the DAISY Forum of India movement and a vindication of the spirit of collaboration. Such an initiative only reinforces the importance of bringing stakeholders together to end the global book famine.

President of the DAISY Forum of India (DFI), Dipendra Manocha

Teamwork

This initiative is the result of an alliance of players, including the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, as well as not-for-profit organizations such as the Daisy Forum India (DFI) and Saksham (both key partners of the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC)).

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