Inaugural Robin Seaman Award Recipients Announced

By Shareef Phillips, posted on

Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible (GCA) program helps digital publishing companies around the world to create content that is born accessible and meets the needs of all readers. At present, more than 50 publishers and conversion vendors have achieved certification, with additional active participants in various stages of the certification pipeline.

This success would not have been possible without the tireless work of Robin Seaman, who joined Benetech in 2008. Robin was committed to making the publishing industry more accessible, leading to the creation of both GCA and Bookshare, Benetech’s accessible eBook library.

In 2012, Robin co-founded Bay Area Women in Publishing (BAWiP) to shine a light on women in publishing. She served on BAWiP’s board for seven years until her passing in 2019. However, Robin’s passion for accessibility and diversity in publishing lives on at BAWiP through its members, who are proud to launch the Robin Seaman Award. This annual award supports women and non-binary people in the Bay Area in their professional growth and efforts to make the publishing industry more diverse and inclusive.

“Robin played a strategic role in making books accessible to people with reading barriers and convincing book publishers to support the effort. She really wanted other people to have the kind of opportunities she did. Our family is immensely proud that we can honor Robin’s life and career through this award,” said Scott Seaman, Robin’s brother.

The Robin Seaman Award Committee has announced Nusrah Javed, Bella Roberts, Sara Fan, Katryce Lassie, Mikaela Luke, Raya Rahman, and Feather Flores as the award’s seven inaugural winners. Each candidate has demonstrated a strong vision for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in publishing, as well as a commitment to growing or launching their publishing careers.

Thanks to a generous donation by Robin’s family, nearly $20,000 was awarded to the winners, who will use their allocated funds to attend conferences, including IBPA, Kindling Words West Conference, American Marketing Association Conference, and the Children’s Literature Association Conference. They will also use the award to continue their education via the Denver Publishing Institute, UCLA’s Literacy Certification program, and with the CoActive Training Institute Coach Training.

You can read Publishers Weekly’s coverage of the award here.

To learn more about BAWiP, the Robin Seaman Award and this year’s recipients, and how you can support their efforts, please visit

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Robin Seaman Award. The committee wishes you success within your publishing goals and endeavors.