Founded in 1896, the International Publishers Association continues to admit new member countries, most recently including three African nations and one from Central America. Also new for IPA is its president, Karine Pansa of Brazil, who took office on January 1, 2023, for a two-year term.
A special focus for Karine Pansa and IPA is to encourage members to increase accessibility in their works. Currently, just 10% of published content is accessible to print-disabled readers.
“IP has a dedicated working group in accessibility. We are helping our members by sharing best practices and supporting initiatives like the Accessible Books Consortium from WIPO,” Pansa explains.
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“The work also feeds into other initiatives,” she tells me. “The Africa Publishing Innovation Fund had an accessibility focus this last year that included training for African publishers. There’s also a lot to do for the European Accessibility Act, which is coming into force in 2025, and will affect not only European publishers, but also outsiders that want to sell books in Europe.”
In addition to serving as IPA president, Karine Pansa is the publishing director of Girassol Brasil, a children’s book publisher based in São Paulo. She was previously president of the Brazilian Book Chamber and sits on the boards of the Brazilian National Book and Reading Plan and the Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind.