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General Documents

COVID-19, Amplifying Voices: Our Lives, Our Say

The World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a study to examine the extent to which COVID-19 pandemic has exposed some deep structural inequalities in society. Data gathered from the study is evidencing that persons with disabilities, older persons, and persons from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds are among those hardest hit by the pandemic. While this report puts a spotlight on the voices of blind and partially sighted persons, many of the experiences shared strongly resonate with numerous other studies that are also highlighting how marginalised groups have been affected by this crisis. Through this report, WBU hopes to raise awareness on the specifics of what those challenges have meant in reality for its constituents, as well as shed light on what have been effective resilience strategies for them. The study was made possible with the support of CBM Global.

Webinar Recordings, Sept 4

Documenting Kenya’s Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(CRPD)

This national  report, commissioned by the World Blind Union  (WBU) in collaboration with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Kenya Union of the Blind (KUB), documents Kenya’s implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Compliance with the CRPD. It examines the extent to which Kenya’s activities aimed at achieving the goals and targets set out in the SDGs include and consider people with disabilities and that they comply with its commitments under the CRPD. This is in line with WBU’s priority of engaging with members, Disabled People’s Organisations, international development organizations and other stakeholders to protect and promote the human rights of blind and partially sighted persons to ensure they are fully included in the national development agenda. 

WBU-ICEVI Webinar - Promoting Inclusive Education in time of COVID-19

The World Blind Union (WBU) and the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) conducted a on 29 July 2020 on "Promoting Inclusive Education in the time of COVID-19". It was an opportunity to share inclusive education advocacy tools and best practices based on the International Disability Alliance (IDA) Inclusive Education Global Report and the linkage with UNESCO’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report). Discussions focused on COVID-19 challenges in education and the Reports’ Relevance and Perspectives for the Education of Learners with Visual Impairments.

Panellists included the WBU President Dr. Fred Schroeder, ICEVI President Dr. Frances Gentle, the ICEVI Chief Executive Officer Dr. M.N.G. Mani, ICEVI First-Vice President, Dr Praveena Sukhraj-Ely, President of ICEVI West Asia Dr Bushan Punani, President of ICEVI Latin America Cristina Sanz and Ms Dorodi Sharma, the Inclusive Development Officer, IDA.

Accessibility of Video Conferencing Apps and Services

The purpose of this document is for United Nations staff and partners to make their video conferences as inclusive as possible for all persons with disabilities. The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities gathered the following information from representative organizations of persons with disabilities, in particular from the International Disability Alliance and its members, and from additional research. This list is by no means exhaustive, but rather attempts to provide an accessibility overview. This document is a living document and will be periodically updated as relevant. Download full Document (word)​

Advocating for continued inclusion of the Washington Group of Questions in Uganda National Censuses, Surveys and other Data Collection Engagements

The World Blind Union jointly with Uganda National Association of the blind (UNAB), and with the financial support of CBM International​ implemented a national project in Uganda to advocate for continued inclusion of Washington Group of Questions in national censuses, surveys and other data collection.

The goal of the project was to build capacity of persons with disabilities, government officials, Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPO’s) and other stakeholders to advocate for the inclusion of the Washington Group of Questions​.

Download project reports below:

Mainstreaming Accessibility and Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Reduction Policies in Kenya

Kenya Union of the Blind (KUB) in partnership with the World Blind Union and with financial support from CBM International, implemented a national advocacy project in Kenya  on “Mainstreaming Accessibility and Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Reduction Policies in Kenya.” The aim of the project is to advocate for implementation of disability inclusive frameworks in relation to humanitarian emergencies. The project is in response to the recommendations made in 2015 by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the government of Kenya to implement various obligations set out to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The two recommendations were: (a) adopt a national plan to ensure the protection of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies and to further ensure universal accessibility and disability inclusion at all stages and levels of all disaster risk reduction policies and their implementation; and (b) provide information in accessible modes, means and formats of communication for all persons with disabilities, in all of the State party’s official languages, and indigenous languages about early warning mechanisms in case of risk and humanitarian emergency. 

Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 

The following reports examines the extent to which the countries' implementation of the SDGs complies with obligations under the UNCRPD

FINAL REPORT: Survey of Worldwide Audio Description Activity, World Blind Union / American Council of the Blind-Audio Description Project   

The survey reveals that audio description (AD) is an important assistive technology worldwide providing access to people who are blind or have low vision to the arts and many other visually-rich events. 67% of respondents said that AD is available in the respondent’s country.:

IASC Guidelines on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action

The International Disability Alliance, in cooperation with UNICEF and Humanity & Inclusion launched the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. The Guidelines aim to ensure that all phases of humanitarian action are disability-inclusive. The Guidelines also emphasize that persons with disabilities should not only be recipients of humanitarian assistance, but they are also be empowered actors in humanitarian response. Read more

New Human Rights reports: WBU Human Rights Report and WBU Report on Disability-Inclusive Disaster Management are available here: 

Committee Reports/Updates and Resource Documents

Publications from other groups: