Finalists Announced for the 2019 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award

February 14, 2019

The short-list for the 2019 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing has been published. The names of the winners will be unveiled at the awards ceremony to be held at the London Book Fair on March 12, 2019.  The finalists were selected by an expert jury composed of eleven representatives of authors, publishers, standards bodies, and organizations representing people who are visually impaired, as well as accessibility experts.

Nominees are judged on the criteria of outstanding leadership or achievements in improving the accessibility of e-books or other digital publications for persons who are blind, have low vision, are dyslexic or have mobility impairments that impact their ability to read the printed word.



  • Argentina - Ediciones Godot
  • Brazil – EDITORIAL 5 (ED5)
  • United Kingdom - Kogan Page Ltd.


  • Botswana - Companies and Intellectual Property Authority
  • Canada - BC Libraries Cooperative, National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)
  • Canada - Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA)
  • Italy - Fondazione LIA
  • Kenya - eKitabu

Last year’s winners

Last year’s ABC award winners were Hachette Livre (France) in the publisher category, and Daisy Forum of India in the initiative category.

Luc Audrain
Picture of Luc Audrain of Hachette Livre (left), France, winner of the 2018 ABC award, publisher category and Kevin Fitzgerald of WIPO (Photo: Richard Orme)
Picture of Dipendra Manocha of the DAISY Forum of India (right), winner of the 2018 ABC award, initiative category and Kevin Fitzgerald of WIPO (Photo: Richard Orme)

This is the fifth- year anniversary of the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing, and the nominations we received from around the world are incredibly diverse and show a real uptake and interest in making knowledge, information and culture available to all members of society, irrespective of sight.  The jury had great difficulty in selecting the short-list, given the excellence of the applications.  We are delighted to be able to highlight the achievements of publishers and initiatives from the many corners of the globe.

Monica Halil Lövblad, Head, Accessible Books Consortium.

The context

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.

About the Accessible Books Consortium

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a UN specialized agency, and its partners created the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) in 2014 to help implement the Marrakesh Treaty at a practical level.

Contracting parties to the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled” adopt national law provisions that permit the production of books in accessible formats, such as braille, e-text, audio or large print, by organizations known as authorized entities that serve people who are blind, have low vision or are otherwise print-disabled.  This WIPO administered treaty also allows for the exchange of such accessible texts across national boundaries, all without requesting authorization from the copyright owner.  

ABC works in three areas, namely:

  • Capacity Building – training and funding is provided by ABC in developing countries for the production of books in accessible formats.
  • ABC Global Book Service - a global library catalogue of over 424,000 titles in accessible formats in 76 languages that enables participating authorized entities from around the world to share items in their collections.
  • Accessible Publishing – the promotion of accessible book production techniques within the publishing industry so that e-books are usable by both sighted people and those with print disabilities. 

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