‘Wordcatcher is deeply committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. It doesn’t seem right that, in this day and age, blind and partially sighted people still don’t have equal access to books.’David Norrington, Managing Director, Wordcatcher Publishing Group Ltd
Wordcatcher Publishing is a small – but rapidly expanding – indie publisher which is now fast approaching its 300th title. We publish in a wide variety of genres and themes: from sci-fi to academia and from business to poetry. Our mission is to make our diverse catalogue of quality books both environmentally sustainable and widely available.
That’s why we are determined to reiterate our participation and commitment to the RNIB Bookshare scheme. This is a programme run by the Royal National Institute for Blind People, which makes ebooks accessible to those who are partially sighted or blind.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Publishers Compact
We recently became a signatory to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Publishers Compact. Among other things, this means we have committed to doing our part in reducing the scourge of inequality in whatever ways we can. Our involvement in RNIB Bookshare is one way we hope to live up to this promise. In this UN Decade of Action 2020-30, it is vital we all play our part, however small, in achieving a more accessible tomorrow.
Working with RNIB Bookshare
Before we had heard of RNIB Bookshare, we were looking for a solution to give greater accessibility of our titles to visually impaired readers. When we discovered their service, it was an easy decision to team up.
As a small publisher we’d struggle to provide the access to our books that RNIB Bookshare offers. It would require investment in technology that we probably couldn’t fund. The RNIB takes our files and processes them in ways that deliver the desired access for people with a range of visual impairments. And this is all free of charge.
An Appeal to Other Publishers and Authors
The catalogue of titles is growing, but it could be so much bigger, and currently represents a small fraction of the books that could be made available.
Because we partner with Booksonix, we are able to process titles to send to RNIB Bookshare as soon as we have the ebook edition ready for pre-order/publication. Now it’s a completely automated process.
If you’re a publisher whose ONIX data distributor doesn’t already have a feed set up to RNIB, we’d encourage you to get them involved too. If they do have a feed set up – get your books in the system.
If you are an author and want to support this type of access to your work for those with visual impairments, ask your publisher if they know about this programme and whether they are involved.
Nick McAlpin, Marketing & PR Assistant, Wordcatcher Publishing Group Ltd
‘I’m proud to work for a company that has signed up to RNIB Bookshare. As someone whose grandmother was blind for several years, it means the world to me.’
To find out more click here: https://www.rnibbookshare.org/cms/get-involved.