The Accessible Books Consortium Launches a Guide for the Production of Braille Books in India

March 19, 2018

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is pleased to launch a Guide for the production of Braille books in India using digital content. The Guide, produced by the DAISY Consortium with the generous funding of the United Nations and Skoll Foundations, explains how digital files can be used to create Braille books in India.  India was the first country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, and it has legislation allowing for the production of accessible format works – such as Braille, audio and large print -  without the need to request prior authorization from the copyright owner.

  • A Guide for Braille Presses of India PDF, Guide for the production of Braille books in India using digital content | Annex to the guide DOC, Annex to the Guide for the production of Braille books in India using digital content

Braille has been accepted as the means to literacy for the blind. Organizations such as the World Blind Union (WBU) and the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI), point to evidence demonstrating better educational and employment outcomes for persons who are blind or visually impaired and who have had the opportunity to learn Braille. ABC, through its capacity building projects, supports the production of both embossed and electronic Braille.

Photo: Piyush Arora and the National Association for the Blind, Delhi
(Photo: Piyush Arora and the National Association for the Blind, Delhi).

A changing world

The Guide discusses a wide variety of digital formats that can be converted into a Braille-ready document. Dipendra Manocha, Director of Capacity Building at the DAISY Consortium and lead author of the Guide, states:

“The mainstreaming of accessibility in digital books has opened a huge potential in making millions of titles available in Braille for persons with blindness. There still remains a need for greater awareness and capacity building in Braille production facilities, however, in order that the benefits of this revolution reach end users.”

About the Accessible Books Consortium

The Accessible Books Consortium is a multi-stakeholder alliance, comprising:

  • the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO);
  • organizations that represent people with print disabilities, including the World Blind Union;
  • libraries for people with print disabilities; and,
  • organizations representing publishers and authors, including the International Publishers Association and the International Authors Forum.

The ABC aims to increase the number of books worldwide in accessible formats – such as Braille, audio and large print – and to make them available to people who are print disabled.

ABC carries out activities in three areas to fulfill its mandate, namely:

  • Capacity Building – training in developing countries for local NGOs, government departments and commercial publishers who want to produce and distribute their books in accessible formats. Projects are ongoing in Argentina, Bangladesh, Botswana, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uruguay. Since the start of capacity building, nearly 4000 accessible educational books will have been produced in national languages in these seven countries through training and technical assistance provided by ABC.
  • ABC Global Book Service (previously known as the TIGAR Service) – a global library catalogue of 375,000 titles in accessible formats that enables libraries serving the print disabled to share items in their collections, rather than duplicating the costs of converting them to accessible formats. Over 165,000 people with print disabilities have borrowed accessible books through the participating libraries in the ABC Global Book Service. Participating libraries have saved an estimated $21.6 million in production costs by being able to download more than 10,800 electronic books into their collections.
  • Inclusive Publishing – activities to promote accessible book production techniques within the commercial publishing industry so that e-books are usable by both sighted people and those with print disabilities. A set of Guidelines for Self-publishing Authors has been produced, as has a Starter Kit for Accessible Publishing. The ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing is presented annually at the London Book Fair in recognition of outstanding leadership or achievements in improving the accessibility of books or other digital publications for people who are print disabled.

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