Fondazione LIA is a non-profit organization that promotes the culture of accessibility in the publishing field.
Its goal is to allow print impaired readers to choose how, when and, above all, what to read, thus fostering social integration and active participation in the world of culture, school and work.
Fondazione LIA carries out research and development activities in the field of digital accessibility, organizes awareness-raising events, offers training courses and consulting activities and is part of an international network of organizations dealing with accessibility of contents.
From project to foundation
LIA began its work as a project in 2011 thanks to Associazione Italiana Editori – the Italian Publishers Association – and with the support of MIBAC – Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities with the aim of creating a catalog of accessible books (today libriitalianiaccessibili.it collects over 24 thousand titles certified by LIA as accessible, a constantly updated catalog with Italian new titles). In 2014, to collect the legacy of the project and ensure its continuity over time, AIE therefore set up Fondazione LIA. In 2017 Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti – Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired joined the Foundation as an institutional member, followed in 2019 by the Italian Library for the Blind “Regina Margherita” of Monza and Associazione Italiana Dislessia – Italian Dyslexia Association.
To date, for the first time at an international level, a foundation therefore brings together all the main organizations committed to guaranteeing access to publications for people with visual disabilities.
47 publishing imprints and the leading digital lending platform in Italy are also members of the Foundation. For more information visit the Members page. With the goal to share objectives and best practices, LIA has also activated over the years a series of partnerships with Italian and international realities for the creation of innovative and social projects. For more information visit the Partners page.
Today, Fondazione LIA works with the aim of promoting the creation of an accessible digital publishing ecosystem. An accessible digital publication (like a PDF or EPUB) is a better quality product for everyone and suitable for different reading needs. Guaranteeing all people the opportunity to read a document, regardless of the type and context, means recognizing their right to culture and information, study and work, in full autonomy.
Acknowledgments and mission
Since its creation, Fondazione LIA has received numerous international awards as an innovative service of excellence. In 2020 it won the ABC International Excellence Award for accessible publishing, the most prestigious international award for accessibility in the publishing sector, promoted by the Accessible Books Consortium in partnership with the Publishers Association.
Among other important awards:
- Reporting as an international best practice by the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, a UN initiative;
- Nomination for the 2012 e-Inclusion awards, a competition organized by the European Commission;
- Nomination among the most innovative practices selected for 2014 by Zero Project;
- 2015 and 2019 Nomination at the ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing;
- Reporting as a reference model in the report Les modèles économiques de l’édition de livres accessibles of the French Ministry of Culture.