WIPO Academy offers Online Courses from Accessible Books Consortium
July 28, 2023
Three ABC online courses on accessible book production now feature on the WIPO Academy’s e-Learning Center. These courses are available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish and are fully accessible to people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. The courses are inclusively designed, with navigable lesson content, quizzes, described images and captioned videos. The tutoring function is also accessible. Nearly half of ABC’s trainers and approximately ¼ of ABC’s trainees are themselves blind or have low vision, so the e-Learning Center’s platform has been fully tested for accessibility.
Before taking the ABC course on producing accessible books, I did my best to provide accessible formats without a specific method. However, after the course, I learned new techniques that improved the quality and efficiency of our work. Now, we can provide users with standardized formats, better accessibility options, easier conversion between formats, and compatibility with current book readers.
I'm happy with what I've learned and the positive results we've achieved. Our users appreciate the new standards we've implemented, as it allows them to fully enjoy books and removes a small barrier between them and sighted individuals.Alexi Román, Accessible Technology Technician, Pedro Henríquez Ureña National Library, Dominican Republic.
The e-Learning Center provides a highly effective and accessible online learning environment and the integration of ABC's courses leverages the full functionality of the WIPO Academy, thus allowing ABC to extend its reach and impact, thereby benefiting individuals with print disabilities worldwide.
The following three ABC courses are available through the WIPO Academy:
a) ABC Online Course on Accessible Publishing Concepts: This introductory self-study course aims at a high-level understanding of critical concepts in accessible publishing. Participants learn the essentials of accessible publishing, accessibility standards, best practices and metadata in two to three hours. This course is free of charge and is open to all – enroll for the ABC Course on Accessible Publishing Concepts in English, Arabic, French or Spanish.
b) ABC Online Course in Accessible Book Production for NGOs: this highly technical course offers training in the latest techniques to produce accessible books in braille, audio, e-text, and large print and includes interactive sessions with expert trainers. This course is made available to participants funded through ABC Training and Technical Assistance projects.
c) ABC Online Course on Accessible STEM Content for NGOs: This course aims at the skills necessary for creating accessible publications with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) content and is intended for participants with prior expertise in accessible book production and includes interactive sessions with expert trainers. This course is made available to participants funded through ABC Training and Technical Assistance projects.
ABC Training and Technical Assistance projects aim to equip organizations in developing and least developed countries with the ability to produce educational materials in national languages to be used by primary, secondary and university students who are print disabled. Selected organizations receive training through ABC Online Courses. To find out about how to qualify for ABC Training and Technical Assistance projects, please sign up to the ABC newsletter, which will announce the next round of ABC project applications.
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.