The short-list for the 2019 ABC International Excellence Award in Accessible Publishing was announced on 11 February. With 3 publishers, and 5 initiatives competing for the 2 awards, it will be a tough call to pick a winner for the announcement at the London Book Fair.
The names of the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held at the London Book Fair on March 12, 2019. The following nominees were selected by the jury from a record number of nominations from different continents:
- Ediciones Godot (Argentina)
- Editorial 5 (Brazil)
- Kogan Page Ltd. (United Kingdom)
- Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (Botswana)
- BC Libraries Cooperative, National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (Canada)
- Fondazione LIA (Italy)
- eKitabu (Kenya)
You can read more about each publisher and initiative, based on their nominations, below. IPA has interviewed the shortlisted publishers. You can read the first of those here.
A jury made up of representatives from publishers, organizations working in the field of accessibility, and organizations representing persons who are visually impaired, is charged each year with the difficult task of choosing finalists and selecting winners.
A Need for Recognition
According to a 2017 estimate by the World Health Organization, 253 million people worldwide are visually impaired. More than 90% of these are resident in developing countries, where the World Blind Union estimates that people who are blind have only a one in ten chance of going to school or getting a job. The lack of accessible books is a very real barrier to getting an education and leading an independent, productive life. For this reason, ABC seeks to recognize leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of e-books and other digital materials.
Last year’s Winners
Last year’s ABC award winners were Hachette Livre (France) in the publisher category, and Daisy Forum of India in the project initiative category.
Ediciones Godot (Argentina)
Ediciones Godot believes that content must be fully accessible to anyone interested in their books. Their works include a 'first page' accessibility declaration and respect the highest standards often requiring hand coding to deliver a quality product that provides a successful reading experience for all.
Read our interview with Ediciones Godot here. [HYPERLINK]
Editorial 5 (Brazil)
Editorial 5 (ED5) is a Brazilian educational publishing house dedicated to accessibility. Since 2011, ED5 has converted more than 400,000 textbook pages to DAISY and EPUB3 with full accessibility developing new production software in house to do so.
Kogan Page Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Kogan Page is an independent global publisher of business books and content. Kogan Page has created tools that can automate the inclusion of accessibility features in their ebooks and developed detailed guidelines for long descriptions for non-textual elements. ‘We believe it's the right thing to do – we want to provide reading quality parity for all users (whether print disabled, dyslexic, blind or otherwise).’
Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (Botswana)
Following Botswana's accession to the Marrakesh Treaty, the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) implemented a project to provide accessible material for learners with print disabilities through training for local professionals and the conversion of a number of school books and government materials including laws and health publications.
BC Libraries Cooperative, National Network for Equitable Library Service and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (Canada)
The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) is a national non-profit organization created with the goal of maximizing access and ensuring sustainability of accessibility services through integration with Canada’s public libraries. CELA services are available through public libraries nationwide and public funding to serve 97% of the Canadian population.
The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) is a digital public library of accessible books created on-demand for Canadians with print disabilities. NNELS has been training publishers to create born accessible material, organized accessible publishing workshops and accessibility audits for Canadian publishers in addition to the Accessible Publishing Summit.
Fondazione LIA (Italy)
Fondazione LIA is a non-profit organization that promotes the culture of accessibility in publishing and developed the LIA catalogue of over 20.000 born accessible e-books. They carry out research and development activities in the field of digital accessibility, organize awareness-raising events, and offer training courses.
Since 2012, eKitabu has brought accessible books, open source software, an Accessible EPUB Toolkit for publishers, and programs that have engaged over 75 publishers and 1,500 schools across 13 African nations.
About the Accessible Books Consortium
The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) was launched in June 2014 and is an alliance led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It involves advocacy organizations, authors, collective management organizations, libraries for the blind, publishers, and standards bodies.
ABC aims to increase the number of books worldwide in accessible formats – such as Braille, audio and large print – and to make them available to people who are print disabled. It carries out activities in three areas, namely:
Inclusive Publishing – activities to promote accessible book production techniques within the commercial publishing industry so that e-books are usable by both sighted people and those with print disabilities. A set of Guidelines for Self-Publishing Authors has been produced, as has a Starter Kit for Accessible Publishing. The ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing is presented annually at the London Book Fair in recognition of outstanding leadership or achievements in improving the accessibility of books or other digital publications for people who are print disabled.
Capacity Building - training in developing countries for local NGOs, government departments and commercial publishers who want to produce and distribute their books in accessible formats. Projects are ongoing in Argentina, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, India, Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uruguay. Since the start of capacity building, over 4400 accessible educational books have been produced in national languages in these nine countries through training and technical assistance provided by ABC.
ABC Global Book Service (previously known as TIGAR) – a global library catalogue of 375,000 titles in accessible formats that enables libraries serving the print disabled to share items in their collections, rather than duplicating the costs of converting them to accessible formats. Over 165,000 people with print disabilities have borrowed accessible books through the participating libraries in the ABC Global Book Service.