Kenya’s eKitabu was announced as an Accessible Books Consortium Accessibility Awards 2019 winner for the best initiative at the London Book Fair 2019 on March 12, 2019.

In 2014, the World Intellectual Property Organization universally known as WIPO launched the Accessible Books Consortium. The consortium was aimed at boosting the number of books in accessible formats for people around the globe who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled. Alongside this organisation, they launched the Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Awards which would be presented annually at the London Book Fair. The awards recognise outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications for persons who are print disabled.

Accessible Books Consortium Accessibility Awards 2019
Accessible Books Consortium Accessibility Awards 2019

This year’s awards shortlistees in the categories of publisher and an initiative with an organisation-wide commitment to making content available in accessible formats were announced on Valentine’s Day. There were two African based organisations which qualified for the two categories in Botswana’s Companies and Intellectual Property Authority and Kenya’s eKitabu.

The winners of the awards were announced yesterday at the London Book Fair 2019 and eKitabu got the nod in the initiative category. eKitabu was recognized for their achievements to improve the accessibility of e-books and other digital publications for people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.

Founded in Kenya in 2012, eKitabu (“Kitabu” is Kiswahili for “book,” Kitab or کتاب in Arabic, Kitab or कताब in Hindi) is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. The organisation works with over 60 local publishers in Kenya to bring accessible digital learning materials—in many cases for the first time ever—to learners who are print disabled, as well as training their teachers to use accessible digital content. eKitabu’s accessible books and programs have reached over 375,000 learners and 1,500 schools across 13 countries of Africa.

Speaking about his organisation’s win eKitabu CEO and Co-Founder Will Clurman said, “we are sincerely honored to be recognized by the Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award for our work with African publishers to deliver accessible digital content for inclusive and quality education. We look forward to more collaboration with ABC—furthering born accessible publishing practices sustainably to leave no one behind.