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IPEd’s Julie Ganner AE and Dr Agata Mrva-Montoya have been shortlisted for the Accessible Books Consortium’s (ABC) 2023 International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing. The ABC is a partnership led by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Julie and Agata were nominated for their extensive and ongoing work on accessibility in publishing. Together, they are involved with the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (AIPI), and have presented at conferences and to the industry. They have also led the accessibility conversation at IPEd, as part of the Accessibility Initiative Working Party (AIWP) with Kayt Duncan, Maryanne Park AE and Cathy Nicoll AE.

Individually, Agata’s shortlisting also recognises her ongoing research at Sydney University and her efforts making Sydney University Press’s books accessible. Julie’s shortlisting recognises her efforts in researching and writing Inclusive Publishing in Australia, an introductory guide for publishers, editors, proofreaders and indexers on inclusion and accessibility.

“Agata and I are honoured to be recognised for our commitment to making published materials accessible to people with print disability,” Julie said. 

“We hope the shortlisting will draw international attention not only to the guides (Books without barriers, written with Kayt Duncan and Maryanne Park, and Inclusive publishing in Australia, written with Greg Alchin), but also the wider work of IPEd and The University of Sydney in researching and addressing accessibility issues.”

“The publishing industry in Australia has been one of the leaders in the adoption of inclusive industry practices since the establishment of the Marrakesh Treaty Forum (later renamed the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative) in 2016,” Agata said.

“We are very grateful to Sarah Runcie from the Copyright Agency and Sonali Marathe from the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities for nominating us.”

IPEd Chair Ruth Davies and CEO Karen Lee congratulated Julie and Agata for their shortlisting.

“This shortlisting is important not only because it acknowledges the work that Julie and Agata, along with other project members, have done to improve access to print material, but also for how it raises the profile of print-disability – and what is being done in this part of the world to address it,” Ruth said. 

“Agata and Julie have worked tirelessly to improve inclusion and accessibility in the editing and publishing industries and it is thrilling to see them receive international recognition for their substantial body of work,” Karen said.

“Their ongoing work to centre accessibility and inclusion in the wider editing and publishing industries contributes significantly to the betterment of the editing profession.”

The ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing 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 people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled.

Past ABC award winners in the publisher category include Kogan Page (2022), Taylor & Francis Group (2021), Macmillan Learning (2020) and EDITORIAL 5 (2019).

Winners in the project initiative category include Mr Ashoka Bandula Weerawardhana (2022), the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) – Canada (2021), LIA Foundation – Italy (2020) and ekitabu – Kenya (2019).