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WBU Committees & Working Groups

The following committees and working groups are assisting the WBU achieve several objectives identified in our current strategic plan​. If you need to contact any of these committees or working groups, please contact the WBU office​ and your inquiry will be directed to the Chairperson of the specific committee.

1. UN Advocacy Network (for CRPD and SDG’s)​

Strategic Objectives:
  1. ​Ensuring that the WBU and its members are actively engaged in the implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at both the international and national levels.
  2. Ensuring that the WBU and its members understand the implications and opportunities provided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and proactively engage in the implementation and monitoring process at all levels​ ​​
  • Chair: Fernando Riaño (Spain)
  • Lars Bosselmann (Belgium)
  • Santosh Rungta (India)  
  • Rebecca Sheffield (USA)  
  • Dean Lerman (Colombia)
  • Martine Abel-Williamson (New Zealand)
  • Philipe Chazal  (France)
  • Getrude O Fefoame (AFUB)
  • José Viera – WBU CEO​

2. Human Rights Committee

Strategic Objective: Advocating for and promoting the human rights of blind and partially sighted persons ​

  •  Chair: Santosh Rungta (India)
  • Wolfgang Angermann (Germany) ​
  • Gerel Dondow (Mongolia)
  • Dean Lerman (Colombia)
  • Beyan Kota (Liberia)
  • Daniel Frye (USA)

3. Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group

Strategic Objective: Engaging with members, other stakeholders and international development organizations to protect the rights of blind and partially sighted persons in situations of disaster, humanitarian emergency or conflict and to ensure that all services and programs are accessible to them. ​
  • Chair: Michiko Tabata (Japan) 
  • Teddy Kahill (Philippines)
  • David Lopez (Nicaragua)
  • Yaw Ofori Debra (Ghana)  
  • Maria Kyriacou (Cyprus)
  • Naser Mousa (Saudi Arabia)
  • José Viera (CEO 

4. Employment Committee 

Strategic ObjectiveImproving employment opportunities for blind and partially sighted persons
  • Chair: Angela Hartley (USA) 
  • Mitch Pomerantz (USA) 
  • Miguel Ulloa (Chile)
  • Chong Chan-Yao (Hong Kong) 
  • Fred Haga (Kenya) 
  • Bárbara Martín Muñoz (Spain)
  • Shalika Karunaratna (Sri Lanka) 
  • Karen Wolffe (USA)

5. Regional Sustainability Working Group 

Strategic ObjectiveWork to ensure the sustainability of the WBU Regions. 
  • ChairVolmir Raimondi (Brazil ) 
  • Wolfgang Angermann (Germany) 
  • Charles Mossop (Canada) 
  • A.K Mittal (India)  

6. Development Committee 

Strategic ObjectiveImproving the capacity of our member organizations, including our International members, to engage with each other to facilitate interactions, resource sharing, and working collaboratively 
  • Chair: A.K, Mittal (India)
  • S. K Rungta (India)
  • Yaw Debra (Ghana) 
  • Charles Mossop (Canada) 
  • Wolfgang Angermann(Germany) 
  • Michiko Tabata (Japan) 
  • Volmir Raimondi (Brazil) 
  • Terje Iversen (Norway /NABP) 
  • Gertrude Fefoame (Sightsavers) 
  • Lars Bosselmann (Belgium/ CBM) 
  • Diana Stentoft (Denmark / DAB)

7. Women’s Committee 

Strategic Objective:Supporting our target populations for full inclusion 
  • Chair: Donatilla Kanimba (Rwanda)
  • Kusumlata Malyk (India) 
  • Leticia Vargas (El Salvador)
  • Chelsea Mohler (Canada)
  • Ann Jönsson (Sweden)
  • Louise Gillis (Canada) 

8. Youth Committee 

Strategic Objective:Supporting our target populations for full inclusion 
    • ChairDiane Bergeron (Canada) 
    • Jason Ho (WBU-AP (Hong Kong) 
    • Matías Ferreyra (Argentina)
    • Mary Fernandez (USA)
    • Dayna Schnell (Canada) 
    • Francesca Sbianchi (Italy)
    • Muhammad Iqbal (Pakistan)
    • Vibhu Sharma (India​)

    9. Elderly Persons Committee 

    Strategic Objective:Supporting our target populations for full inclusion
    • Chair: Charles Mossop (Canada)
    • Peter Verstraten (Netherlands) 
    • Javaid Manzoor
    • Jane Barratt 
    • Pararajasegaram Ramachandra (IAPB) 
    • Filippo Amore (IAPB/ Italy)
    • Gretchen Good (New Zealand) ​

    10. Low Vision Committee 

    Strategic Objective:Supporting our target populations for full inclusion
    • Chair: Penny Hartin (Canada) 
    • Ms. Sachu Ramalingam (India)
    • Elaine Howley (EBU/ Ireland)
    • Martin Kieti: (AFUB) 
    • Selene Caraballo (ULAC)
    • Filippo Amore (IAPB/ Italy)
    • Charles Mossop:(Canada) 
    • Megan Dodd

    11. Rehabilitation Working Group 

    Strategic Objective:Improving access to rehabilitation services by blind and partially sighted persons
    • Chair: Anil Aneja (India) 
    • Teddy Kahil (Philippines)
    • Len Baker (Canada) 
    • David Okon (Nigeria) 
    • Rebecca Sheffield (AFB/ USA) 

    12. Marrakesh Implementation & Ratification Campaign Committee 

    Strategic Objective:Improving Access to Information for blind and partially sighted persons
    • Chair: Scott Labarre (USA) 
    • Kusumlata Malyk (India) 
    • Jace Nair (South Africa) 
    • Neil Jarvis (New Zealand) 
    • Barbara Munoz-Martin (Spain) 
    • Carlos Eduardo Ferrari (Brazil)​​​​​

    13. Technology Committee 

    Strategic ObjectivePromoting access to low and high technology solutions for blind and partially sighted persons
    • Chair: Sachin Pavithran (USA)  
    • Vice-Chair​: Robin Spinks (RNIB/ UK)
    • Mark Nicol (Canada)
    • Neil Jarvis (New Zealand) 
    • Carlos Eduardo Ferrari (Brazil)
    • Bart Simons (Belgium) 
    • Jessica Schroeder (Germany)
    • Satveer (India)   
    • Chancy Fleet (USA) 
    • Barbara Munoz-Martin (Spain)

    14. Environment Working Group 

    Strategic ObjectivePromoting full access to the environment for blind and partially sighted persons including safe and independent travel and access to transportation
    • Chair: Martine Abel-Williamson (New Zealand) 
    • Fred Schroeder: (WBU President/ USA) 
    • Chong Chan-Yao (Hong Kong) 
    • Martin Kieti (AFUB) (Kenya) 
    • Jan Urbanek (Czech Republic)
    • Ginger Kutsch (USA)

    15. Communications  Committee 

    Strategic ObjectiveDeveloping and making available a variety of resources to our members and the public through a variety of communications channels. 
    • Chair: Fernando Riaño (Spain)
    • Amer Makarem  (Lebanon)
    • Lee Huffman (USA)
    • Mary Schnackenberg (New Zealand)
    • Fernando Galarraga (Argentina)
    • Jace Nair (South Africa) 
    • Terry Mutuku (staff support)

    16.  World Braille Council 

    Strategic ObjectivePromoting and advancing the use of braille through the work of the World Braille Council  
    • Chair: Kevin Carey UK) 
    • S K Rungta  (India)  
    • Thomas Kahlisch (Germany) 
    • A.K. Mittal, (India) 
    • Regina Fatima Caldeira de Oliveira (Brazil)
    • Kim Charlson  (USA)  
    • Bill Jolley (Australia)  
    • Marc Aufrant (French) 
    • Ana Isabel Ruíz Lopez (Spanish)  
    • Shree Ram Mittal (ICEVI rep) 

    17. Finance Committee 

    Strategic ObjectiveOverseeing WBU financial resources
    • Chair:​ Martine Abel-Williamson (New Zealand) 
    • Fred Schroeder (USA)
    • Fernando Riaño (Spain) ​​​​

    18. Resource Generation Working Group 

    Strategic ObjectiveDeveloping and implementing strategies to generate resources to support the work of the WBU
    • Chair: Fernando Riaño (Spain)
    • Lief Wien Jensen
    • Azmi Al-Fayez
    • Mohamed Allouzi​​​

    19.  Membership Fee Review Working Group 

    Strategic Objective: Undertaking a review of the WBU fee structure
    • Chair:​ Martine Abel-Williamson (New Zealand) 
    • Michiko Tabata (Japan) 
    • Volmir Raimondi (Brazil) 
    • A.K Mittal  (India)
    • Arnt Holte (Norway)

    20. Leadership Working Group 

    Strategic ObjectiveLeadership Development and Training
    • Chair: ​ ​Diane Bergeron (Canada)
    • Lucia Nieves (Venezuela)
    • Yibhu Sharma (India)


     Standing Committees  

    1. Membership fees Committee 

    • Chair: Martine Abel-Williamson (New Zealand)
    • A.K. Mittal (India)
    • Fernando Riaño (Spain)
    • Regional Presidents

    2. Nominations committee 

    • Chair: Maryanne Diamond (Australia) 
    • Bill Jolley (WBU-AP) 
    • Fernando Galarraga (ULAC)
    • Jim Tokos (NA/C) 
    • Poul Luneborg (EBU) 
    • Ishumael Zhou (AFUB)

    3.  Constitution Committee 

    • Chair: Wolfgang Angermann (Germany) 
    • S. K. Rungta  (India) 
    • Yaw Debra (Ghana)
    • A.K. Mittal (India)
    • Chong Chan-Yao  

    WBU Representatives to Partner Organizations 

    1. IDA (International Disability Alliance) - Arnt Holte with transition to Fred Schroeder
    2. Vision Alliance – Fred Schroeder & Penny Hartin
    3. IAPB (The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness) - Arnt Holte
    4. ICEVI (The International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment ) - A.K. Mittal
    5. WHO (World Health Organization) - Fred Schroeder
    6. UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) - Fernando Riaño
    7. ISO (The International Organization for Standardization) - Barbara Munoz Martin
    8. WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) - Scott La Barre
    9. UPU (The Universal Postal Union) - John Rafferty
    10. UNICEF - Arnt Holte 
    11. UN Women - Cathy Donaldson
    12. UNDP –
    13. IBSA​ – Yaw Ofori Debra