WIPO Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award 2021: Call for Nominations
April 1, 2021
Nominations are now open for the Accessible Book Consortium’s (ABC) International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing, which recognizes a publisher and a project initiative that each demonstrate outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled.
The winners of this prestigious annual award will be announced during a ceremony on October 20, 2021 to be held for the first time at the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF). The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and FBF signed an agreement for collaboration between the two organizations in 2020, including a provision on the issue of accessibility.
Nominations in the publisher and project initiative categories should be completed on the attached application form and mailed to Accessible.Books@wipo.int by Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
Past ABC award winners in the publisher category include Macmillan Learning (2020), EDITORIAL 5 (2019), Hachette Livre (2018), SAGE Publishing (2017), Elsevier (2016) and Cambridge University Press (2015). Winners in the project initiative category include the LIA Foundation - Italy (2020), ekitabu - Kenya (2019), Daisy Forum of India (2018), Tilfolexos - Argentina (2017), Action on Disability Rights and Development – Nepal (2016) and Young Power in Social Action – Bangladesh (2015).
The final decision of the selection panel, composed of experts in the field of accessibility, will be based on the following criteria:
- an organization-wide commitment to making content available in accessible formats;
- accessibility standards built into production systems to make books accessible on, or close to, publication date;
- collaboration with partners in the supply chain to ensure that accessibility is maintained in delivering the product to the print disabled end-user;
- innovative practices established to advance the accessibility of e-books and digital publications; and
- widespread positive impact on persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled.
ABC encourages nominations of companies, organizations or individuals based in developing or least-developed countries.
According to a 2018 World Health Organization estimate, approximately 253 million people are blind or visually impaired world-wide. More than 90% of these are resident in developing countries, where the World Blind Union (WBU) estimates that people who are blind have only a one in ten chance of going to school or getting a job. A lack of accessible books remains a very real barrier to getting an education and leading an independent, productive life. The WBU estimates that less than 10% of all published materials can be read by blind or low-vision people.
The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is a public–private partnership led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that brings together all of the key players – organizations representing people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled, authors, publishers, collective management organizations, libraries and other authorized entities, as well as standards bodies. ABC was established in June 2014 to implement the goals of the Marrakesh Treaty. Through an effective international alliance of relevant state and non-state actors, ABC seeks to increase, and distribute, the number of books worldwide in accessible formats - such as Braille, audio, e-text and large print.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.
About Frankfurter Buchmesse
Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair and the most important international marketplace for content – from novels and children’s books to academic databases and stories for films, games and virtual reality experiences. Publishing professionals from around the world meet here with partners from the technology sector and from related creative and cultural industries, sparking new partnerships and business models. Since 1976, the book fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association). www.buchmesse.de/en