Finalists Announced for the 2023 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing

October 5, 2023

The list of finalists for the 2023 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing has been released by WIPO’s Accessible Books Consortium.

Finalists in the publisher category are:

Shortlisted candidates in the initiative category are:

Sharjah city pictured with Al Noor Mosque in the foreground
City of Sharjah (PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES).

This year’s winners of the Accessible Books Consortium’s (ABC) International Excellence Award will be announced during a ceremony on Sunday, October 29 at 17:30 at the 2023 Sharjah Publishers Conference. This will be the first time that this prestigious award will be presented in the Middle East.

The jury was hugely impressed with the exceptional quality of the nominees, making the task of selecting the short-list a very challenging one. We are delighted that this year we received a record number of nominations from five continents, which demonstrates increasing commitment around the world by publishers and organizations to producing accessible digital publications.

Richard Orme, CEO, DAISY Consortium and juror.

ABC award nominees were judged on the criteria of outstanding leadership and 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. The finalists were selected by an expert jury composed of representatives of publishers, standards bodies and organizations representing people who are visually impaired, as well as accessibility experts.

The ABC International Excellence Award was previously presented at the London Book Fair between 2015 and 2020, at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2021, and at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in 2022.

In 2022, the winners were Kogan Page of the United Kingdom and Ashoka Bandula Weerawardhana of Sri Lanka, in the publisher and initiative categories respectively. Previous winners in the publisher category include Taylor & Francis Group (2021), Macmillan Learning (2020), EDITORIAL 5 (2019), Hachette Livre (2018), SAGE Publishing (2017), Elsevier (2016) and Cambridge University Press (2015).

Previous winners in the initiative category include the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) - Canada (2021), 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).

Logo of the Sharjah International Book Fair in Arabic and in English.
Logo of the Sharjah International Book Fair in Arabic and in English.


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 Publishers Conference

The Publishers Conference will take place form Sunday, October 29 to Tuesday, October 31, 2023 as a prequel to the Sharjah International Book Fair. The Conference is aimed at sellers of translation rights in all genres and languages, and buyers of published works in translation. The conference provides a three day programmme dedicated to professionals, including seminar sessions on current global topics in publishing and afternoons of matching-making appointments for conducting business. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in organized social events.