WIPO’s ABC International Excellence Award - Deadline Extended
June 6, 2023
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.
Mr. Martin Kopstock (left) of Kogan Page of the United Kingdom and Mr. Ashoka Bandula Weerawardhana (right) of Sri Lanka. Kogan Page and Mr. Bandula were the winners of the 2022 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing, in the publisher and initiative categories, respectively.
The winners of this prestigious annual award will be announced during a ceremony on Monday, October 30, 2023 to be held at the Publishers Conference in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates, as a prequel to the Sharjah International Book Fair. The ABC International Excellence Award was previously presented at the London Book Fair from 2015 – 2020, at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2021, and at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in 2022.
Nominations in the publisher and project initiative categories should be completed on the attached application form (also available in French and Spanish ) and mailed to Accessible.Books@wipo.int by Friday, September 1st, 2023.
The Sharjah Publishers Conference is delighted that the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing will be presented for the first time in the Middle East. We hope this will encourage publishers in the region to further their efforts in making their e-books accessible to people who are blind or otherwise print disabled.Mr. Mansour Al Hassani, Director of Publisher Services and Director of Sharjah Publishing City
Past ABC award winners in the publisher category include Kogan Page (2022), Taylor & Francis Group (2021), 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 include Mr. Ashoka Bandula Weerawardhana (2022), 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).
The decision of the selection panel, composed of experts in the field of accessibility, will be based on the following criteria:
- a 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.
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.
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.
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.