Call for Nominations: 2024 ABC International Excellence Award

May 22, 2024

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 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 winners of this prestigious annual award will be announced at the official Gala Dinner of the International Publishers Congress on December 4, 2024, held during the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico.

Ms. Annica Järnum, Editor in Chief, Hegas
Ms. Annica Järnum of Bokförlaget Hegas of Sweden, winner of the 2023 award in the publisher category (Photo: Emma Holmström)
Ms. Elin Ljungvall, Head, Accessibility and Digital Publishing, Bokförlaget Hegas
Ms. Elin Ljungvall of Bokförlaget Hegas of Sweden, winner of the 2023 award  in the publisher category (Photo: Emma Holmström)
Ms. Namita Jacob, Director, Chetana Charitable Trust, Accessible Reading Materials Library.
Ms. Namita Jacob, Chetana Charitable Trust Library. Winner of the 2023 award in the project initiative category. (Photo: Chetana Charitable Trust)
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Kalimat Foundation. The Kalimat Foundation was awarded a special commendation in the project initiative category. (Photo: Ivana Maglione).

Nominations in the publisher and project initiative categories should be completed on the attached application form DOC, nomination form (also available in French DOC, formulaire de désignation and Spanish DOC, formulario de nominación) and mailed to by Monday, September 16, 2024.

The decision of the selection panel, composed of experts in the field of accessibility, will be based on the following criteria:

  • the number of books 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.

We are so excited to bring the ceremony for the WIPO ABC Excellence Awards to the International Publishers Congress in Guadalajara. We will make this a true celebration of those publishers and initiatives doing great things and do our best to inspire even more publishers to step up their work on accessibility.

- Mr. Hugo Setzer, President, Mexican Publishers Association (CANIEM) and Past President, International Publishers Association

The ABC International Excellence Award was previously presented at the London Book Fair (2015 – 2020), the Frankfurt Book Fair (2021), the Guadalajara International Book Fair (2022) and the Sharjah International Book Fair (2023).

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).

Previous winners in the project initiative category include Mr. Ashoka Bandula Weerawardhana in Sri Lanka (2022), the National Network for Equitable Library Service in Canada (2021), the LIA Foundation in Italy (2020), eKitabu in Kenya (2019), the DAISY Forum of India (2018), Tiflonexos in Argentina (2017), Action on Disability Rights and Development in Nepal (2016) and Young Power in Social Action in Bangladesh (2015).


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 WIPO that, together with its many partners around the world, has had real impact over the past decade.  Since its inception, the ABC Global Book Service catalogue has quadrupled in size to nearly one million titles thanks to the inclusion of the collections of participating authorized entities. ABC delivered a total of 164,000 accessible digital files from the ABC catalogue to persons with print disabilities through its authorized entities in 2023. In addition, through ABC’s training and technical assistance partners, almost 20,000 textbooks have been made accessible in over 40 low-income countries, improving access to education for thousands of young people. ABC was established in June 2014 to implement the goals of the Marrakesh Treaty.

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About the International Publishers Association (IPA)

The International Publishers Association (IPA) is the world’s largest federation of  publishers’ associations with 101 members in 81 countries. Established in 1896, the IPA is an industry body with a human rights mandate. The IPA’s mission is to promote copyright and the freedom to publish globally so that everybody has the opportunity to create and enjoy content. Working in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and numerous international NGOs, the IPA champions the interests of book and journal publishing at national and supranational level. Internationally, the IPA actively opposes censorship and promotes copyright, freedom to publish (including through the IPA Prix Voltaire), and literacy.

About the International Publishers Congress

The IPA organizes the International Publishers Congress every two years in cooperation with the IPA members in the host country. The Congress offers an unrivaled platform for networking and discussion among the world’s publishers on industry challenges and opportunities.

The first International Publishers Congress was held in 1896 in Paris. This is the second time that the International Publishers Congress will come to Mexico. The last time was in Mexico City in 1984. The last International Publishers Congress was held in Jakarta, Indonesia and attracted over 600 delegates to discuss the future of publishing.

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.