WIPO’s Accessible Books Consortium Names Its Award Shortlists

In News by Porter Anderson

The 2022 winners of the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing are to be named late this month at Guadalajara.

At the 2018 edition of Guadalajara International Book Fair, where in late November the winners of the 2022 ABC International Excellence Awards for Accessible Publishing will be named. Image: FIL Guadalajara, Natalia Fregoso

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also: IPA Congress Opens in Jakarta: ‘Reading Matters’

Setzer: ‘Promoting Inclusive Publishing’
In a late-day announcement today (November 9), the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva (WIPO) has named two shortlists of finalists for its 2022 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing.

In this context, ABC, of course, stands for the Accessible Books Consortium, a public-private partnership led by WIPO. It includes organizations that represent people with print disabilities such as the World Blind Union (WBU); libraries for the blind; standards bodies; and organizations representing authors, publishers, and collective management organizations.

Today’s release of shortlists is broken into three finalists on each of two categories’ shortlists. One is a shortlist of finalist-publishers. The other is a shortlist of finalists in the category of initiatives.

Accessible Publishing 2022 Shortlist: Publisher Category
Accessible Publishing 2022 Shortlist: Initiatives Category
Programming at FIL Guadalajara

As it turns out, the winners are to be announced during the Guadalajara International Book Fair on November 29, an unprecedented Latin American presentation of this awards program.

The award nominees have been juried on criteria of outstanding leadership and achievements in improving the accessibility of ebooks or other digital publications for people who are blind, have low vision, are dyslexic, or have mobility impairments that impact their ability to read the printed word.

The jurors are not named as they normally are in the myriad publishing and book competitions we cover, but ABC says, they are “representatives of publishers, standards bodies, and organizations representing people who are visually impaired, as well as accessibility experts.”

Hugo Setzer

Hugo Setzer is president of the Mexican Publishers Association (CANIEM) a former president of the International Publishers Association‘s (IPA), and CEO of Mexico’s Manuel Moderno.

In today’s announcement, Setzer is quoted, saying, “This year marks the first time that the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing will be presented in Latin America.

“The award winners will be unveiled during an accessibility seminar that the Mexican Publishers Association is honored to co-host at the Guadalajara book fair, with a view to promoting inclusive publishing so that digital publications are produced in such a manner that all persons, irrespective of ability, are able to read ebooks on their commercial release.”

At Guadalajara—this year with Sharjah as guest of honor—the announcement will be part of an on-site accessibility seminar, “Accessible Publishing for People with Print Disabilities: A Latin American Perspective.” That event starts at 12 p.m. November 29, in Room 7 of the fair’s national pavilion and is open to everyone at the fair without prior registration.

Setzer will moderate the program, and will be joined by:

  • Julián Calderazi, accessibility expert and team leader, DigitalBe, Argentina
  • Julio César Canizález, regional president, Latin America, International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment
  • Karine Pansa, president-elect, International Publishers Association and publishing director, Girassol Brasil Edições, Brazil
  • Camerina A. Robles Cuéllar, president, Discapacitados Visuales IAP, Mexico
  • Alma Bagundo Medina, Accessible Books Consortium, WIPO

In a note on the issue that undergirds the work of the consortium, we read, “According to a 2017 study published in The Lancet, approximately 253 million people are blind or visually impaired, internationally. Nearly 90k percent of those live in developing countries.

“The World Blind Union estimates that people who are blind have only a one-in-10 chance of going to school or getting a job.”

At the 2019 edition of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, which had India as its guest of honor. Image: FIL Guadalajara, Susana Rodriguez

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 189th awards-related report in the 200 publication days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.

More from Publishing Perspectives on accessibility is here, more on the World Intellectual Property Organization is here, more on the Accessible Books Consortium is here, more on the many book and publishing awards programs in the world industry is here, and more on the International Excellence Awards is here.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Guadalajara International Book Fair is here, more on the Mexican publishing market is here, and more on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs is here

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.