ABC Snapshots – News from the Accessible Books Consortium
June 30, 2016
It is two years ago today that the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) was born. And we are delighted to be able to celebrate with the news that Canada's accession today to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled has brought the number of accessions/ratifications to 20 – the magic number required to trigger the Treaty's entry into force in three months time. Read the full report in this WIPO press release.
- The ABC’s TIGAR Book Service has so far facilitated the loans of accessible books to 79,000 people through its 19 participating libraries.
- The 2016 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing went to Elsevier, the DK Braille Development Team at Penguin Random House, and a Nepalese NGO, ADRAD.
- Six major publishers’ associations have signed the ABC Charter, which promotes the production of “born accessible” works.
- Our capacity-building activities in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka benefitted over 23,500 students in 2015. 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 – we hope to benefit some 88,500 students who are print disabled in these four countries.
- This WIPO video tells the story of Nidhi, a 15 year old beneficiary of ABC technical assistance activities in India.
Over 300 stakeholders attended the Take Part Conference in Stockholm in May 2016 to exchange information about human perspectives on inclusive publishing.
WIPO’s Monica Halil Lövblad spoke at the conference about how ABC is having a positive impact on people’s lives.
Growth of the ABC Book Service
The ABC Book Service (TIGAR) - a global online catalogue of books in accessible formats hosted by WIPO - now has 19 participating libraries in 16 countries, and 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 – new opportunities in Latin America and Africa
We are currently inviting project proposals from African NGOs working with people who are print disabled. The application deadline has been extended to July 31, 2016. For more information contact Accessible.Books@wipo.int.
The ABC is also exploring opportunities for capacity-building projects in Latin America. We provided a seminar on accessible book production techniques, held in Panama in June 2016 during the Regional Workshop on the Marrakesh Treaty, which was attended by representatives from 19 Latin American national associations for the blind.
Inclusive publishing – new resources
We released two guides in 2016:
- The Accessibility Guidelines for Self-Publishing Authors explain how to avoid common accessibility pitfalls that hinder the experience of print-disabled readers.
- The "Books for All Starter Kit for Accessible Publishing in Developing and Least-Developed Countries", funded by the Government of Australia, provides practical advice on how to establish a national “books for all” strategy and on the various technologies needed to produce works in accessible formats.
Background on ABC
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 blind, have low vision or are otherwise print disabled. It was launched in June 2014 as a complement to the Marrakesh VIP Treaty.