Applications for ABC Training and Technical Assistance Projects — Deadline Extended

March 21, 2022

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is now inviting Expressions of Interest from organizations for training and technical assistance on how to produce books in accessible formats for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. The deadline has been extended to Friday, April 15, 2022.

Expressions of Interest are open to organizations (or partnerships of organizations) located in developing or least developed countries.  ABC will consider geographical balance when evaluating applications.

Organizations should read the Guide to Submitting an Expression of Interest for ABC Training and Technical Assistance:

  • Guide in Arabic DOC, Guide to Submitting an Expression of Interest for ABC Training and Technical Assistance.
  • Guide in English DOC, Guide to Submitting an Expression of Interest for ABC Training and Technical Assistance.
  • Guide in French DOC, Guide to Submitting an Expression of Interest for ABC Training and Technical Assistance.
  • Guide in Spanish DOC, Guide to Submitting an Expression of Interest for ABC Training and Technical Assistance.

If eligible, please complete and send the attached application form to Accessible.Books@wipo.int by April 15, 2022:

  • Application Form in Arabic DOC, ABC Training and Technical Assistance Application form.
  • Application Form in English DOC, ABC Training and Technical Assistance Application form.
  • Application Form in French DOC, ABC Training and Technical Assistance Application form.
  • Application Form in Spanish DOC, ABC Training and Technical Assistance Application form.

To date, ABC has provided training and technical assistance to enable organizations in 27 developing and least developed countries to produce and deliver over 17,000 educational materials in national languages for primary, secondary and university students who are print disabled.

Group of students holding books in braille
Photo: REPRONIG 2019

Distribution of braille school books produced during an ABC training and technical assistance project in Nigeria.

To be eligible, the organization (and its proposed partners where applicable) should:

  • serve or represent people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled;
  • be located in a developing or least developed country;
  • have some experience in, or a promising basis for, producing accessible format books;
  • attest that the titles to be produced will be part of the national (or state/provincial) educational curricula and advance national (or state/provincial) educational objectives;
  • demonstrate how the organization will engage with other stakeholders in the country, such as other NGOs serving persons with print disabilities, authorized entities or libraries for the blind, publishers, department(s) of education, the intellectual property or copyright office, to implement the objectives of the Marrakesh Treaty, thereby working towards the sustainability of accessible book production activities in the foreseeable future; and
  • be responsive to requests from the ABC Secretariat and have the ability to meet contractual obligations and deadlines.

Background

According to a 2017 study published in The Lancet, approximately 253 million people are blind or visually impaired world-wide. Nearly 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.

About ABC

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.

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About WIPO

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.