The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) promotes the production of "born accessible" publications that are fully accessible to all readers – our vision is for the same product to be usable by everybody.

In particular, ABC encourages all publishers to:

  • use the accessibility features of the EPUB3 standard for the production of digital publications;
  • include descriptions of the accessibility features of their products in the information they provide to retailers and others in the book supply chain.

Books without barriers: A Practical Guide to Inclusive Publishing (2023)

Books without barriers offers a comprehensive overview on writing, editing, illustrating, designing, and publishing accessible books for publishers seeking advice in producing accessible materials.

Julie Ganner and Dr. Agata Mrva-Montoya were shortlisted in the 2023 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing for their contributions to this publication.

The future of accessible publishing – EPUB3

Accessible EPUB3 is the "gold standard" in the publishing industry for the production of accessible digital books.

If its accessibility features are used correctly, EPUB3 allows for the creation of an electronic file that can then be used to produce accessible digital books in various formats, for example:

  • an audiobook with a synthesized voice; or with human narration
  • embossed braille; or
  • electronic braille (braille read on a computer with a refreshable braille keyboard).

Charter for Accessible Publishing

The ABC Charter contains eight aspirational principles that publishers should follow to make their digital publications accessible to persons with print disabilities.

  • Arabic PDF, Charter in ArabicDOC, Charter in Arabic
  • English PDF, Charter in EnglishDOC, Charter in English
  • French PDF, Charter in FrenchDOC, Charter in French
  • Italian PDF, Charter in ItalianDOC, Charter in Italian
  • Portuguese PDF, Charter in PortugueseDOC, Charter in Portuguese
  • Russian PDF, Charter in RussianDOC, Charter in Russian
  • Spanish PDF, Charter in SpanishDOC, Charter in Spanish

Seminar on Accessible Publishing and the European Accessibility Act

In this informative session organized by ABC, the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), Frankfurter Buchmesse and the International Publishers Association (IPA), publishers and accessibility advocates share their experiences and discuss how to prepare for the implementation of the European Accessibility Act by 2025. The 2021 ABC International Excellence Awards were presented during the seminar to the Taylor and Francis Group (publisher category) and to the National Network for Equitable Library Service (initiative category). Moderated by James Taylor of IPA, seminar participants included Cristina Mussinelli (Fondazione LIA), Laura Brady (House of Anansi Press), and Rachel Comerford (Macmillan Learning).

Cristina Mussinelli and James Taylor on stage at the Frankfurter Buchmesse

Video: Accessibility Now: Will you be ready for the European Accessibility Act in 2025? Read transcript

An automated checker for EPUB – "Ace by DAISY"

The DAISY Consortium, an ABC partner, has released an open-source “Accessibility Checker for EPUB” known as “Ace by DAISY” for e-books created in the EPUB format.

"Ace by DAISY" allows publishers to verify that their publications are accessible and conform to internationally recognized standards and ensure that their publications are readable by people with print disabilities. This automated tool has been designed for publishers to be easily incorporated at any stage of the publication workflow and provides a list of errors that need fixing in order to create accessible materials.

Learn more about EPUB3

ABC International Excellence Award

This annual award is presented at the London Book Fair. It recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of digital publications for persons who are print disabled.

Two awards are presented each year, one to a publisher and one for a project initiative.

ABC encourages nominations of companies, organizations or individuals that are based in developing or least developed countries.

Various winners of the ABC International Excellence Award for Publishing and the trophy Left: Michele Woods (center) of WIPO, Alicia Wise (left) and Marcia Balisciano (right) of Elsevier, winners of the 2016 ABC award (Photo: London Book Fair).  Center: Monica Halil (left) of WIPO; Huw Alexander (center) and Catherine O’Connell (right) of SAGE Publishing, winners of the 2017 ABC award (Photo: Steve Burden). Right: Fleur Star (left) and Jemma Westing (right) of the DK Braille Concept Development Team, winners of the 2016 ABC award (Photo: London Book Fair).

Resources for publishers

Inclusive Publishing Guide

The Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (AIPI) has developed a publication, Inclusive Publishing in Australia?: An Introductory Guide, which offers publishers a set of workflow strategies for creating accessible digital books that are inclusive by design. This excellent Guide is relevant for all publishers.

Guidelines for self-publishing authors

ABC and the International Authors Forum have produced Accessible eBook Guidelines for Self-Publishing Authors PDF, Accessible eBook Guidelines for Self-Publishing Authors , written by accessibility expert Dave Gunn.

These guidelines describe how people with print disabilities such as sight loss or dyslexia use technology to read eBooks, as well as the steps authors can take to ensure their books are compatible with that technology.

Books for All starter kit

The ABC Books for All Starter Kit for Accessible Publishing in Developing and Least-Developed Countries PDF, ABC Books for All Starter Kit for Accessible Publishing in Developing and Least Developed Countries provides information on how to increase the number of books in accessible formats at the national level.

It is designed for key stakeholders such as NGOs, departments of education, and publishers in developing and least-developed countries (LDCs).

The Starter Kit focuses both on how to establish a national “books for all” strategy as well as on the various technologies and procedures to produce works in accessible formats.

European Blind Union – Guidelines for Making Information Accessible to All

The European Blind Union has clear, easy to understand guidelines written for a non-specialist audience of how to make documents accessible for all. The guidelines are available in Dutch, English, French, German and Spanish.

Best practices for publishers

The guidelines document Accessible Publishing, Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers was produced by EDitEUR with funding from WIPO. The guidelines are available in English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.


  • English: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format
  • French: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in French
  • German:Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in French
  • Hindi: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in Hindi  
  • Italian: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in Italian
  • Japanese: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in PDF format in Japanese
  • Spanish: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers in Word format in Spanish

Conversion tool

The DAISY Consortium, with partial funding from WIPO, has developed an open source cross-platform conversion tool for software developers to create applications that can be used for the production of content in accessible formats. Find out more about the Pipeline 2 tool on the DAISY Consortium website.