The Nigeria Association of the Blind, NAB, has organized a workshop for Nigerian Publishers to strengthen their potentials in the sustainable development of inclusive publishing in Nigeria.
The three-day capacity building workshop/training with the Theme: “The Panacea to Book Famine for Print Disabled Community” is supported by the Disability Rights Fund, DRF.
The workshop is aimed at helping publishers produce accessible books for visually impaired persons.
Oluwakemi Odusanya, Administrative Officer, NAB explained that the workshop on inclusive publishing became essential as a result of the need to breach the gaps created when schools switched to online learning during COVID-19 lockdown.
Odusanya revealed that, “during COVID-19 lockdown when schools switched to online learning, we realized that Blind persons lagged behind because sighted persons could access their books online but it wasn’t so for Blind people.
“Even though there were online versions of the books, they were not accessible to Visually Impaired Persons.
“Therefore, if we are mainstreaming education virtually, there is need to ensure that no one is left behind, that is why we are leveraging on existing treaty to make sure that books are accessible to visually impaired persons.”
Odusanya noted that, “this is the reason we are engaging publishers who desire to provide accessible formats of books for the benefits of visually impaired persons, and with this training, the publishers would have consolidated their knowledge of accessible publishing and the international trends.”
Odusanya also mentioned that, as parts of efforts to increase access to accessible books, “NAB has been able to seek sponsorship to give 500 visually impaored persons opportunity to accessible books online.”
Theophilus Odaudu, Programme Officer, Disability Rights Fund, Nigeria, explained that DRF is interested in seeing Nigeria attaining the Marakesh treaty which the country is a signatory to.
Odaudu explained that attaining the Marakesh treaty would help “Nigeria to facilitate access to published works for persons who are visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.
“The treaty has been ratified in Nigeria and what we’re working on is to ensure that it is domesticated,” he added.
Publishers who have shown commitment to producing accessible books and trained by NAB are; Nigerian Publishers Ass., University Press Plc., HEBN Publishers Plc. West African Book Publishers Ltd., Tanus Books Ltd., Spectrum Books Ltd., Evans Brothers Nig. Pub., Extension Publications Ltd, Rasmed Publications Ltd, Learn Africa Plc., and Babcock University Press.