Accessible Books Consortium (ABC)
The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is a public-private partnership led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It includes organizations that represent people with print disabilities such as the World Blind Union (WBU); libraries for the blind; standards bodies, and organizations representing authors, publishers and collective management organizations.
Our goal is to increase the number of books worldwide in accessible formats - such as braille, audio, e-text, large print – and to make them available to people who are blind, have low vision or are otherwise print disabled.
Enroll in the ABC Online Course on Accessible Publishing Concepts
This introductory course aims at a high-level understanding of critical concepts in accessible publishing. Learn the essentials of accessibility standards and best practices in two to three hours. It is open to all and free of charge. Take it in: Arabic, English, French or Spanish.
What services do we offer?
Who are we helping?
The legal framework
The global context
Some 253 million people worldwide are visually impaired, according to a 2017 study published in The Lancet. More than 90% of these are resident in developing countries, where the World Blind Union (WBU) estimates that people who are blind have only a one in ten chance of going to school or getting a job. The lack of accessible books is a very real barrier to getting an education and leading an independent, productive life. The WBU estimates that less than 10% of all published materials can be read by blind or low vision people.
Voices from the floor of the Inaugural Marrakesh Assembly (October 2016)
Without books to share, the dream of equal access will remain an unfulfilled dream. The Marrakesh Treaty is much more than a treaty about books. It is an historic human rights instrument.Frederick Schroeder, President, World Blind Union (WBU)
The CRPD is quite clear that the Marrakesh Treaty will contribute to the full inclusion of people who are visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.Maria Soledad Cisternas, Chair, Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
[…] while blind and visually impaired children will benefit directly from the Marrakesh Treaty, the environment of accessibility that will be created will also have significant positive effects for all children with disabilities.Gopal Mitra, Programme Specialist – Children with Disabilities, Disability Section, UNICEF