WIPO’s Accessible Books Consortium Welcomes Two Libraries from the People’s Republic of China
July 11, 2023
WIPO is pleased to welcome the China Braille Library and the China Braille Press into the ABC Global Book Service. The new partnerships were announced within the context of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of China-WIPO Cooperation, during the WIPO Assemblies of Member States.
With these agreements, the China Braille Library and the China Braille Press have joined a vibrant network of 130 libraries for the blind worldwide that are producing and sharing books in accessible digital formats with each other through the ABC Global Book Service. It will enable the nearly 17 million persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled in China to have access to ABC’s international catalogue of more than 840,000 accessible books in 80 languages. Likewise, a rich collection of accessible books in Chinese will become available to people who are print disabled outside of China, through ABC’s network of libraries for the blind.
“By participating in these cross-border exchanges, the China Braille Press and the China Braille Library will be implementing on the ground the Marrakesh Treaty in China, and strengthening the world-wide impact of this much-needed Treaty.”
Ms. Sylvie Forbin, Deputy Director General of WIPO
To learn more about the ABC’s recent activities, read the 2023 Report on the Accessible Books Consortium.
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.