Finalists Announced for Accessible Books Consortium’s 2017 International Excellence Award
February 8, 2017
The finalists for the 2017 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing were announced today. The six short-listed organizations come from all corners of the globe.
The ABC Award recognizes two categories: one for publishers and one for project initiatives. The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held at the London Book Fair on the evening of Tuesday, March 14, 2017. The six finalists are:
- Picsterbooks, South Africa
- SAGE Publishing, U.K.
- VitalSource Technologies, U.S.
Project initiative category:
- Jisc, U.K.
- Tata Consultancy Services, India
- Tiflonexos, Argentina
Nominees were judged on the criteria of outstanding leadership or achievements in improving the accessibility of books or other digital publications for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. In particular, ABC encourages nominations of companies, organizations or individuals that are based in developing or least developed countries.
Comments from the jury
The ABC award jury, which is comprised of publisher representatives, organizations working in the field of accessibility, and persons who are visually impaired, noted the high-quality and value of the accessibility work being undertaken by the nominees.
The Head of ABC, and jury chair, Ms. Monica Halil Lövblad, highlighted that the 2017 nominations originate from a diverse number of countries – this is a clear reflection of the global recognition and fundamental importance of producing accessible books for people who are print-disabled.
A global problem
Some 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired according to the World Health Organization (2014). More than 90% of these are resident in developing countries, where the World Blind Union 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.
Last year’s winners
Last year’s ABC award winners were Elsevier in the publisher category; ADRAD, an NGO from Nepal, and the DK Braille Concept Development Team (part of Penguin Random House) won in the project initiative category.