Accessible Publishing

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) promotes the production of "born accessible" publications that are fully accessible to all readers – our vision is for the same product to be usable by everybody.

In particular, ABC encourages all publishers to:

  • use the accessibility features of the EPUB3 standard for the production of digital publications;
  • include descriptions of the accessibility features of their products in the information they provide to retailers and others in the book supply chain.
A student reading large size text on a computer screen
(Photo: WIPO)

The future of accessible publishing: EPUB3

Accessible EPUB3 is the "gold standard" in the publishing industry for the production of accessible digital books.

If its accessibility features are used correctly, EPUB3 allows for the creation of an electronic file that can then be used to produce accessible digital books in various formats, for example:

  • an audiobook with a synthesized voice;
  • embossed braille; or
  • electronic braille (braille read on a computer with a refreshable braille keyboard).

Learn more about EPUB3

ABC International Excellence Award

This annual award is presented at the London Book Fair. It recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of digital publications for persons who are print disabled.

Two awards are presented each year, one to a publisher and one for a project initiative.

ABC encourages nominations of companies, organizations or individuals that are based in developing or least developed countries.

Charter for Accessible Publishing

The ABC Charter contains eight aspirational principles that publishers should follow to make their digital publications accessible to persons with print disabilities.

Also available in: French PDF, Charter in French | Italian PDF, Charter in Italian | Portuguese PDF, Charter in Portuguese | Spanish PDF, Charter in French

Various winners of the ABC International Excellence Award for Publishing and the trophy
Left: Michele Woods (center) of WIPO, Alicia Wise (left) and Marcia Balisciano (right) of Elsevier, winners of the 2016 ABC award (Photo: London Book Fair).  Center: Monica Halil (left) of WIPO; Huw Alexander (center) and Catherine O’Connell (right) of SAGE Publishing, winners of the 2017 ABC award (Photo: Steve Burden). Right: Fleur Star (left) and Jemma Westing (right) of the DK Braille Concept Development Team, winners of the 2016 ABC award (Photo: London Book Fair).

Resources for publishers

Books for All starter kit

The ABC Books for All Starter Kit for Accessible Publishing in Developing and Least-Developed Countries PDF, ABC Books for All Starter Kit for Accessible Publishing in Developing and Least Developed Countries provides information on how to increase the number of books in accessible formats at the national level.

It is designed for key stakeholders such as NGOs, departments of education, and publishers in developing and least-developed countries (LDCs).

The Starter Kit focuses both on how to establish a national “books for all” strategy as well as on the various technologies and procedures to produce works in accessible formats.

Guidelines for self-publishing authors

ABC and the International Authors Forum have produced Accessible eBook Guidelines for Self-Publishing Authors PDF, Accessible eBook Guidelines for Self-Publishing Authors, written by accessibility expert Dave Gunn.

These guidelines describe how people with print disabilities such as sight loss or dyslexia use technology to read eBooks, as well as the steps authors can take to ensure their books are compatible with that technology.

Best practices for publishers

The guidelines document Accessible Publishing, Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers was produced by EDitEUR with funding from WIPO. The guidelines are available in English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

Download

  • English: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in PDF format
  • French: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in French Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in PDF format in French
  • German:Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in French Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in PDF format in German
  • Hindi: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in Hindi Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in PDF format in Hindi
  • Italian: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in Italian Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in PDF format in Italian
  • Japanese: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in PDF format in
					Japanese
  • Spanish: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in Spanish Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in PDF format in Spanish

Online training

These 30 minute training modules, produced by EDitEUR with WIPO funding, are designed to help publishers understand the accessibility needs of persons with print disabilities.

The training helps publishers in a range of different roles make adjustments to their business and workflow processes in order to benefit all readers and increase business opportunities.

Conversion tool

The DAISY Consortium, with partial funding from WIPO, has developed an open source cross-platform conversion tool for software developers to create applications that can be used for the production of content in accessible formats. Find out more about the Pipeline 2 tool on the DAISY Consortium website.