Accessible Books Consortium Celebrates 100th Signatory to ABC’s Charter for Accessible Publishing

Fountain pen with ink drippingHachette Livre has become the 100th signatory of the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) Charter, marking an important milestone for the WIPO-sponsored alliance working to increase the number of books in accessible formats for use by hundreds of millions of people around the globe who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled.

By signing ABC’s Charter for Accessible Publishing publishers commit to making its products fully accessible to all users. Specifically the charter asks publishers to:

  1. state their accessibility policy on their web-site
  2. nominate a senior manager who will be responsible for accessibility
  3. raise awareness among, and provide technical training for, relevant staff
  4. designate and publicise a point of contact in their organization to assist persons with print disabilities to access their publications
  5. test their digital publications for accessibility, incorporating appropriate feature descriptions and metadata
  6. monitor their progress in this area
  7. promote the adoption of accessibility standards throughout the supply chain
  8. support national and international collaboration with organizations representing persons with print disabilities so as to increase the availability of publications in accessible formats

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed the development, saying: “We are pleased to see a growing number of key industry players signing the Charter for Accessible Publishing. This advances our global efforts to increase the number of books available for use by people with print disabilities.” He added: “Hachette Livre is a world-leading publisher and its membership will make a big difference in making accessible format books available to blind and visually impaired persons.”

Hachette Livre Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Arnaud Nourry said “For the book industry, making books accessible to the widest readership, including readers who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled, not only makes economic sense, but is a moral imperative. If we, publishers, do not pioneer this duty on an industrial level, who will?”

Accessible Publishing and the Marrakesh Treaty: Event Report from the Buenos Aires Book Fair

Logo for the Buenos Aires Book FairThis year the 2 day Copyright Seminar held at the Buenos Aires Book Fair the 25-26 April (Feria Internacional del Libro de Buenos Aires—FILBA) included a seminar on Accessible Publishing  and the Marrakesh Treaty.

Pablo Lecouna Director of Tiflonexos and Julian Calderazi, DigitalBe’s head of digitalization, gave a general overview of the activities of the Accessible Books Consortium, discussing accessibility, EPUB, Disability and Implementation including common problems together with the benefits of producing born-accessible content.

Mr. Lecouna discussed the history of Tiflonexos and it’s free library for visually impaired consumers in the Spanish language (Tiflolibros), the Marrakesh Treaty and his participation in it elaborating on its advantages alongside ABC’s mission.  Julian Calderazi presented the benefits of Accessible EPUB production workflows for publishers and consumers and  emphasizing the responsibility of content producers.

Both Pablo and Julian encouraged publishers to start building accessible content into their products from the beginning of the production process, sharing their knowledge and experience and making it clear that accessibility in publishing can be achieved with little significant effort. They both impressed upon delegates that it is timely to consider accessibility now and that Latin America can benefit from born accessible publishing now.

This report was kindly submitted by Julian Calderazi, DigitalBe. Since 2010 Julian has worked in the development of different standards relating to ebooks with numerous organizations including BISG, IDPF, W3C and currently in the Publishing Business Group, Publishing Working Group and the EPUBCheck task force within Publishing@W3C.

Congratulations to the 2019 Winners of the ABC International Excellence Awards

The winners of the Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Awards were announced last night at the London Book Fair 2019. Nominees were judged on the criteria of outstanding leadership or achievements in improving the accessibility of ebooks or other digital publications for persons who are print disabled.

Both worthy winners were at the ceremony to receive the awards from Monica Halil-Lövblad from the Accessible Books Consortium.

Monica Halil Lovblad from ABC with the winners from eKitabu






From Kenya, eKitabu won the Initiative award.

Monica Halil Lovblad from ABC with the winners from Editorial 5






Editorial 5 (ED5) from Brazil, won the Publisher Award.

Our congratulations to all nominees and winners.

Photograph Credit: LBF




Finalists Announced for the 2019 ABC International Excellence Awards

The short-list for the 2019 ABC International Excellence Awards for Accessible Publishing has now been published and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony  on March 12, 2019 at the London Book Fair. Our congratulations to all the finalists who are:

Publishers Award

  • Argentina—Ediciones Godot
  • Brazil—EDITORIAL 5 (ED5)
  • United Kingdom—Kogan Page Ltd.

Initiative Award

  • Botswana—Companies and Intellectual Property Authority
  • Canada—BC Libraries Cooperative, National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)
  • Canada—Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA)
  • Italy—Fondazione LIA
  • Kenya—eKitabu

Full details of these awards can be found at the Accessible Books Consortium website 

Call for Nominations: Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award 2019

ABC is now inviting nominations for the 2019 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of commercial ebooks or other digital publications for persons who are print disabled. Two awards will be presented, one to a publisher and one for an initiative.

You may nominate either your own organization/company or a third party anywhere in the world, and ABC encourages nominations of companies, organizations or individuals based in developing or least developed countries. The two awardees will be presented with trophies at the annual awards event held at the London Book Fair on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Please submit your application by Thursday, January 10, 2019 through the London Book Fair site.

International Publishers Association calls on Publishers to Support the Accessible Books Consortium

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is delighted that Michiel Kolman, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Senior Vice President at Elsevier and Hugo Setzer, Vice-President of the IPA and CEO of Manual Moderno are encouraging publishers to support ABC and sign the ABC Charter for Accessible Publishing. Both Elsevier and Manual Moderno are signatories to the ABC Charter. Michiel Kolman’s call to action is available on youtube and their full interviews in the WIPO magazine

ABC International Excellence Award – Seeking Nominations

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) International Excellence Award, to be given at London Book Fair 2018, is now open for nominations. ABC aims to increase the number of books worldwide in accessible formats, and make them available to people who are print disabled; the ABC International Excellence Award, given at LBF, recognizes outstanding leadership and achievement in advancing the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications.

Two awards will be presented, one to a publisher and one for an initiative.  You can nominate your own organisation or a third party anywhere in the world, and nominations are encouraged from those based in developing or least developed countries.  The submissions deadline is Friday 26th January 2018, and the awards will be given on Tuesday 10th April 2018.  Click through for full detail and a submission form.