ABC International Excellence Awards Given to Taylor & Francis of UK and NNELS of Canada
October 20, 2021
Taylor & Francis Group of the United Kingdom and National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) of Canada are the winners of the 2021 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing. Taylor & Francis Group was recognized in the publisher category and NNELS was recognized in the initiative category for their respective achievements in the field of accessibility to benefit people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled.
The winners of this prestigious award, presented by the WIPO-led Accessible Books Consortium (ABC), were announced today by WIPO Deputy Director General Sylvie Forbin during a ceremony at the Frankfurter Buchmesse.
In the publisher category, Taylor & Francis Group’s innovative approach to alternative text for images, graphs, and diagrams impressed the jury. Authors create and submit alternative text with their manuscripts, which ensures that key information is accessible to persons who are print-disabled.
Taylor & Francis is proud to be a champion for accessibility within the publishing industry and we are honoured that the work we’ve done improving our products has been recognized. Accessibility offers a toolkit to break down barriers and open up knowledge and resources to readers and learners across the globe. We will continue to develop our accessibility program to better support customers with a fair and equitable approach to our academic content and would like to thank the colleagues, authors, contributors, and partnerships who are working alongside us.Brianna Walker, Head of Content Management, Taylor & Francis
In the initiative category, NNELS was recognized for their work in converting content to accessible formats for their client base. The jury was particularly impressed by NNELS’ work organizing the Accessible Publishing Summit for the past three years. The Accessible Publishing Summit assembles key stakeholders such as accessibility experts, publishers, and libraries to advocate for inclusive practices in the publishing industry.
This is an exciting time for accessible publishing! It is rewarding to create awareness and to witness publishers learn about, and work toward, accessibility for everyone. NNELS is delighted that the work our team does to advance accessible publishing and to prevent and eliminate accessibility barriers for reading has been recognized. The momentum created by stakeholders collaborating on a global scale means that we are looking at a bright future for accessible reading. NNELS is honoured to play a role in that movement. We look forward to continuing our efforts towards a fully inclusive and equitable publishing and reading landscape in Canada and beyond.Daniella Levy-Pinto, NNELS Manager
Nominees were 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. Winners were selected from a diverse pool of finalists by a jury composed of representatives of authors, publishers, standards bodies, and organizations representing people who are visually impaired, as well as accessibility experts.
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 most important global 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).