CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Baker & Taylor, Inc., the world's largest distributor of digital and physical books, is honored to announce that it has won a prestigious award from the National Federation of the Blind for making ebooks available to blind individuals through the groundbreaking Axis 360 digital media platform, which includes the Blio ereader.
Baker & Taylor received the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award at the NFB's annual convention in Dallas. The award honors individuals and organizations that have "made outstanding contributions toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality." The NFB commended Baker & Taylor for its "industry-leading example in making its ebook products accessible…With the digital book services of Baker & Taylor, our goal of reading equality – same book, same time, same price – is being fulfilled as never before."
"We are honored to receive this award from the country's largest and most prestigious organization representing the interests of blind and visually-impaired people," said Arnie Wight, President and COO of Baker & Taylor. "Libraries play a vital role in ensuring their communities have access to the latest and best books and digital media. With Axis 360 and Blio, libraries can more inclusively serve their whole community, by opening up a world of new content to blind and sighted people alike."
Baker & Taylor not only delivers the fully-accessible media platform Axis 360 for libraries, it also powers Blio, a free ereading application that works on iOS, Windows and Android devices and has features that help visually-impaired individuals and people with reading disabilities. When used together, Axis 360 and Blio allow patrons with reading or visual disabilities to explore their library's digital collection, easily find and borrow items of interest and have them read aloud. Axis 360 and the Blio application were developed in partnership with the NFB.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "Axis 360 will revolutionize the way in which blind readers get books. The blind will now be able to borrow accessible books directly from the collections of their local public libraries instead of having to wait for the books to be converted to an accessible format and included in specialized collections that serve the blind. As the collection of books available through Axis 360 increases, we look forward to the day when every book available at the local library will also be available to the blind at the same time and in an accessible format."
About Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor, Inc. (www.baker-taylor.com) is the world's largest distributor of books, digital content and entertainment products. The company offers cutting-edge digital media services and innovative technology platforms to thousands of publishers, libraries and retailers worldwide. Baker & Taylor also offers industry-leading customized library services and retail merchandising solutions. Charlotte, N.C.-based Baker & Taylor is majority owned by Castle Harlan Partners IV, L.P., an institutional private equity fund managed by Castle Harlan, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm.
About the National Federation of the Blind
With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people's lives through advocacy, education, research, technology and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.
SOURCE Baker & Taylor, Inc.