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NNELS Shortlisted for Prestigious Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) is pleased to have been shortlisted for the 2019 Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing. The five finalists were selected by an eleven-member jury composed of authors, publishers, standards bodies, visual impaired organisations, and accessibility experts.

Monica Halil Lövblad, Head, Accessible Books Consortium explains,“This is the fifth-year anniversary of the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing, and the nominations we received from around the world are incredibly diverse and show a real uptake and interest in making knowledge, information and culture available to all members of society, irrespective of sight.  The jury had great difficulty in selecting the short-list, given the excellence of the applications.  We are delighted to be able to highlight the achievements of publishers and initiatives from the many corners of the globe.”

NNELS shares this recognition with the many partners who support its mission to improve access to books and public libraries for Canadians with print disabilities. NNELS is honoured to be nominated alongside CELA, a Canadian organisation also dedicated to advancing the availability of accessible materials, and with organisations from Botswana, Italy, and Kenya.

Kevin Millsip, Managing Director, BC Libraries Cooperative (the service provider for NNELS), stated, “We are delighted that the jury recognized two Canadian organisations, and believe this speaks to the tremendous support we receive from our governments and public library communities in Canada and the solid collaborative work that NNELS and CELA are doing together.” 

This past year has been pivotal for NNELS. In December 2017, NNELS received funding from the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program—Disability Component to work on a series of special projects. Millsip says that the funding has allowed NNELS to expand service and “work on initiatives that could change the Canadian accessibility landscape by creating partnerships for accessible publishing, improving access to reading material and public library service, and hiring more people with disabilities to work in this sector.”

For more detailed information on the special projects, visit the NNELS Grants Updates page.

NNELS gratefully acknowledges the support of its funders from eight provinces and territories (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Yukon), the Government of Canada, libraries and readers, volunteers, and partner organisations including the AEBC (Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians), CCB (Canadian Council of the Blind), CFB (Canadian Federation of the Blind), and VIRN (Vision Impaired Resource Network). 

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on March 12, 2019 at the London Book Fair.  Diana Davidson, Chair of the NNELS Funders group, will be in attendance.

For more information on the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing, please visit the ABC’s website.