Africa Publishing Innovation Fund and DAISY Consortium Giving Free Expert Training in Production of Accessible Books for Visually Impaired Readers

The Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF), a grant-giving program co-led by philanthropic organization Dubai Cares and the International Publishers Association (IPA), and the DAISY Consortium, a world authority on publishing for people with visual impairments and other print disabilities, are offering African publishers free expert training on the production of accessible works.  

Under the scheme, African publishers are invited to join a first webinar called Accessible Publishing in Africa – the Fundamentals, which will be delivered in English, French, and Arabic, respectively on 5, 6, and 7 July. 

DAISY’s international experts will explain how accessible publishing practices open books to people with print disabilities, including blindness, low vision, and learning disabilities. Participants will also share their own experiences, which will be used to help shape technical accessible publishing training to be offered later this year.  

The July webinars will cover the fundamentals about print disabilities and the assistive technologies they use, as well as how publishers can better serve print disabled readers, and why it is mutually beneficial to do so.  

Publishers that further pursue the programme with DAISY will be able to secure APIF financing to support the production of accessible works and their introduction to the market. 

IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi, the architect of the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund, said: ‘It’s so important – particularly in these tempestuous times – that publishers play a part in ensuring that no one is denied access to information and content. Accessible publishing opens the literary world to everyone, regardless of physical status, and as a founder member of the Accessible Books Consortium, this is a core principle of the work we do at the IPA. We hope that by dedicating APIF financing to this specific issue we can make a big contribution to increasing the range of accessible African works available to the readers that need them.’ 

DAISY Consortium CEO Richard Orme said: ‘Many publishers in Africa are accelerating their adoption of digital publishing solutions, especially following the global pandemic. This also provides the opportunity to create publications that can be read by children and adults who were previously excluded, including those with blindness and low vision. Accessible publications are better publications for everyone, and we’re excited to share the practical steps that can be taken by publishers to reach new audiences and address long-standing inequities.’  

Register for the webinar here.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of African Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF)

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