The World Blind Union - Changing what it means to be blind.
As the principal organization that represents and speaks on behalf of blind and partially sighted persons at the international level, the World Blind Union (WBU) derives its strength from its members in approximately 190 countries worldwide. To achieve our vision, mission and goals, we rely on the cooperation and support of our members. The WBU reflects the aspirations of blind persons for equality and full participation. The World Health Organization estimates that 284 million people are blind or visually impaired worldwide. About 90% of these people live in developing countries. 80% of the causes of blindness are treatable or preventable. 75% of blind persons cannot gain employment, even in developed countries and only 10% of blind children in developing countries have the ability to attend school. 60% of the blind in Africa are women and they face the hardship of lacking access to vital community services. 65% of those visually impaired are over the age of 50.
A community where people who are blind or partially sighted are empowered to participate on an equal basis in any aspect of life they choose.
We are a worldwide movement of blind and partially sighted people acting on our own behalf to:
.Promote belief in the proven abilities of blind and partially sighted people; and
.Achieve full participation and equality in society.
We work through 3 avenues of work:
Representation - and advocacy at local, national, regional and international levels to ensure the special issues of vision loss are conveyed and addressed
Capacity Building - training & technical expertise for organizations of and for the blind, particularly in developing countries.
Information Sharing - tools and resources made available to all members, enabling them to raise awareness, access the latest information and to speak on issues of importance with a common voice.
About World Blind Union
We work in six regions located in Africa, Asia, Asia Pacific, Europe Latin and North America & the Caribbean.
WBU programs and activities reflect the following six priority areas:
1. Promoting equalization of opportunities and full participation in society for blind and partially sighted persons.
2. Enhancing empowerment and self-esteem of blind and partially sighted persons.
3. To be an international resource on issues relating to vision loss.
4. Providing an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of vision loss.
5. Strengthening programs and services related to the education, health, welfare, social security, rehabilitation and general well-being of blind and partially sighted people.
6. Promoting prevention of blindness initiatives.
The work of the WBU is carried out by working groups & committees made up of volunteers from our membership who bring their skills and expertise from various sectors to enhance our capacity.