Shortlist Announced for the 2018 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award
February 23, 2018
The short-list for the 2018 ABC International Excellence Award in Accessible Publishing is out! The names of the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held at the London Book Fair on April 10, 2018. The following nominees were selected by the jury from a record number of nominations from different continents:
- Constantine Editores, Mexico
- Hachette Livre, France
- Taylor & Francis, UK
- DAISY Forum of India
- Dolphin Computer Access, UK
- Fundação Dorina Nowill para Cegos, Brazil
- Typefi, Australia
A jury made up of representatives from publishers, organizations working in the field of accessibility, and organizations representing persons who are visually impaired, is charged each year with the difficult task of choosing finalists and selecting winners.
A Need for Recognition
According to a 2017 estimate by the World Health Organization, 253 million people worldwide are visually impaired. 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. For this reason, ABC seeks to recognize leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of e-books and other digital materials.
Last year’s Winners
Last year’s ABC award winners were SAGE Publishing of the UK in the publisher category, and Tiflonexos from Argentina in the project initiative category.
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:
- 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.
- 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.