Applications Now Open for ABC Training and Technical Assistance Projects
September 5, 2023
The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is now inviting applications for training and technical assistance from organizations working to produce books in accessible formats for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. Applications are open to organizations located in developing or least developed countries and ABC will consider geographical balance when producing a short-list.
Organizations should read carefully the “Guide for Submitting an Application Form for ABC Training and Technical Assistance”:
If eligible, please complete the application form and send it to Accessible.Books@wipo.int by Friday, October 20, 2023.
- Application Form in Arabic
- Application Form in English
- Application Form in French
- Application Form in Russian
- Application Form in Spanish
Applications will be evaluated by the ABC Secretariat and a short-list of potential partner organizations will be made further to the criteria set out in the Guide. Short-listed organizations will then be requested to complete a work plan and project budget with the assistance of the ABC Secretariat, as well as participate in an interview, prior to the final selection being made.
To be eligible, the organization should:
- be not-for-profit;
- 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;
- be responsive to requests from the ABC Secretariat and have the ability to meet contractual obligations and deadlines.
To date, ABC has provided training, technical assistance and funding to enable organizations in 39 developing and least developed countries to produce educational books in accessible formats for primary, secondary and university students who are print disabled.
ABC Training for Publishers
In addition to providing training to organizations serving people who are print disabled in developing or least developed countries, ABC also provides online training for publishers. Launched in October 2022, the ABC Online Course in Accessible Publishing Concepts provides a high-level introduction to critical concepts in accessible publishing.
This course is designed for publishers but is also useful to a broader audience that wishes to understand best practices relating to accessibility standards. Available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish, the self-paced online course is open to all.
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.
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.