Nominations are open for the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing until 30 September 2022. The award recognises a publisher and a project initiative that each demonstrate outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled.
The winners of this prestigious annual award will be announced during a ceremony on Tuesday, 29 November 2022, to be held at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico. This will be the first time that the ABC Award is presented in Latin America, having been presented at the London Book Fair from 2015–2020 and at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2021.
Past ABC award winners in the publisher category include Macmillan Learning (2020), EDITORIAL 5 (2019), Hachette Livre (2018), SAGE Publishing (2017), Elsevier (2016) and Cambridge University Press (2015). Winners in the project initiative category include the LIA Foundation – Italy (2020), ekitabu – Kenya (2019), Daisy Forum of India (2018), Tiflonexos – Argentina (2017), Action on Disability Rights and Development – Nepal (2016) and Young Power in Social Action – Bangladesh (2015).
Marisol Schulz Manaut, General Director of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, said: We at the Guadalajara International Book Fair have worked for many years to promote accessibility in publishing, which is why we are pleased and proud that the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing will be awarded this year within the framework of our 36th edition. We are convinced that it will give the necessary impetus for Latin American publishers that attend our Fair to continue and increase their efforts to make books accessible to people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.
The decision of the selection panel, composed of experts in the field of accessibility, will be based on the following criteria:
- an organisation-wide commitment to making content 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.
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.