Kenyan Publishers Awarded For Developing Born Accessible Content In Kenya’s Content Development Challenge

70 accessible digital titles developed by 6 inclusive publishing firms in Kiswahili, English, and Mother Tongue languages

Tuesday 30th July 2019: Today at the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), eKitabu in collaboration with All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) Partners (the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision, and the Australian Government) and Pearson; and in partnership with Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) awarded prizes to Kenyan publishers who have developed quality, early grade, digital reading materials for learners with disabilities.

“I congratulate all participants and winners of the Content Development Challenge. The Accessible EPUB books that you have developed for the Kenyan Curriculum represent important investments that the publishers of Kenya are making to leave no one behind in inclusive and quality education. I extend our team’s warm thanks to our supporters and advisers, local and global, who have made this a good beginning. And I wish to thank KICD for their leadership and collaboration throughout.” said Will Clurman, eKitabu CEO.

Six publishing houses in Kenya: African Storybook, Dylan & Charlie Publishers, Longhorn Publishers, Moran Publishers, Mountain Top Publishers, and Storymoja Africa, entered 70 titles in accessible EPUB format. The 70 titles, 20 Kiswahili, 46 in English, and 2 in mother tongue languages. were reviewed according to the Content Development Challenge accessibility scorecard that eKitabu developed with input from experts in global standards for accessibility, including Benetech and DAISY Consortium

EPUB is the global open standard format for inclusive publishing that has powerful, in-built accessibility features and uses the “.epub” file extension. EPUBs can be interactive and include multimedia such as audios and videos, and they can work offline or online. 

Moran Publishers EA emerged top position amongst all publishers for production of the most accessible titles that achieved high marks for accessibility according to the accessibility scorecard.

Mountain Top Publishers won Best Kiswahili Title with Marafiki Watatu; Longhorn Publishers won Best English Title: The New School; and African Storybook had the Best Mother Tongue Title: Nanu Onyala Khuubala Koola Liikhumi? in Lubukusu, Luhya.

Best Overall titles received KES 300,000 and KES 225,000, KES 175,000, KES 125,000 and KES 75,000 for positions two to five respectively. 

Chief Guest at the event Fredrick Haga OGW, Director, Special Needs Education in Ministry of Education emphasized the need for all content developers to adopt born accessible publishing practices: “Our learners depend on the curriculum materials that we provide for inclusive and equitable quality education. It is our duty to provide quality, accessible content for all learners at the same time.” 

About Content Development Challenge (CDC)

In 2018, eKitabu invited Kenyan publishers to create born-accessible, early grade reading materials for use by Kenyan learners with disabilities and approved by KICD for Kenya’s Competency Based Curriculum. eKitabu conducted hands-on training with publishing teams and content developers over nine months, equipping them with open source tools (toolkit.ekitabu.com), open standards (EPUB) and know how to incorporate accessibility into their products and publishing practices. The aim was to bolster the sustainability of inclusive publishing in Kenya and encourage innovation by recognizing and rewarding excellence. Entries from publishers were evaluated by both local and global experts in accessibility according to a technical scorecard, with cash prizes for top quality entries across different categories.  

About eKitabu

eKitabu delivers accessible digital content for inclusive and quality education. We are a Kenyan, US and Rwandan company headquartered in Nairobi. The educational impact of books is eKitabu’s foundation and on that proven foundation we innovate, designing with users and partners from the public and private sector—to increase accessibility and lower the cost of inclusive and quality education. Since founding in 2012, eKitabu has brought open standards for accessibility and open source software to over 1,500 schools across 13 African countries and all 47 counties of Kenya. eKitabu collaborates with leading publishers in Africa and globally, focusing on local content approved for use in schools. www.eKitabu.com

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Facebook || Twitter || LinkedIn || YouTube || Instagram || Website Content Development Challenge was made possible through the generous support of the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) Partners (the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision, and the Australian Government) and Pearson. It was prepared by eKitabu, LLC and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pearson and the ACR GCD Partners