WIPO Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award 2022: Call for Nominations

August 22, 2022

Nominations are now open for the 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.

Left: Brianna Walker of Taylor & Francis. Right: Daniella Levy-Pinto of NNELS.
(Photo: Taylor & Francis) and (Photo: NNELS)

Taylor & Francis Group of the United Kingdom and National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) of Canada were the winners of the 2021 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing, in the publisher category and in the initiative category, respectively.
Left: Brianna Walker of Taylor & Francis. Right: Daniella Levy-Pinto of NNELS.

The winners of this prestigious annual award will be announced during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 to be held at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico. This will be the first time that the ABC Award is presented in Latin America, having been presented at the London Book Fair from 2015 – 2020 and at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2021.

Nominations in the publisher and project initiative categories should be completed on the attached application form (also available in French DOC, formulaire de désignation and Spanish DOC, formulario de nominación) and mailed to Accessible.Books@wipo.int by Friday, September 30, 2022.

Past ABC award winners in the publisher category also 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 also include the LIA Foundation - Italy (2020), ekitabu - Kenya (2019), Daisy Forum of India (2018), Tiflonexos - Argentina (2017), Action on Disability Rights and Development – Nepal (2016) and Young Power in Social Action – Bangladesh (2015).

We at the Guadalajara International Book Fair have worked for many years to promote accessibility in publishing, which is why we are pleased and proud that the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing will be awarded this year within the framework of our 36th edition. We are convinced that it will give the necessary impetus for Latin American publishers that attend our Fair to continue and increase their efforts to make books accessible to people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.

Marisol Schulz Manaut, General Director, Guadalajara International Book Fair
Wide view of people visiting the India Pavilion, in a large conference hall decorated with oversized characters from the Hindi alphabet.
(Photo: @FIL/ Susana Rodríguez)

The India Pavilion at the 33rd edition of the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, December 6, 2019.

The 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.

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.

About the Guadalajara International Book Fair

The Guadalajara International Book Fair is the most important publishing gathering in Ibero-America. Created 36 years ago by the University of Guadalajara, the Fair is aimed at professionals and the general public alike, a characteristic that sets it apart from other book fairs around the globe. Whilst retaining its original purpose as a business gathering, the FIL is also a vibrant cultural festival centered on literature, offering a program featuring authors from all continents and languages, and serving a forum for academic discussion of the major issues of our times.

For nine days, the book industry makes Guadalajara its beating heart and the whole city is filled with music, arts, cinema and theatre from the featured Guest of Honor, which, this year, is Sharjah and Arab Culture.