News Archive

Closing the Accessibility Gap: WBU unveils a new report on its journey and learnings towards cities for all

Monday June 3rd, 2024
The WBU is thrilled to announce the release of its latest report, “Closing the Accessibility Gap,” which provides a comprehensive overview of the progress and insights from its Global Programme for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (IAUD). This report highlights the urgency to accelerate the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)... View Article

World Blind Union: Website and Brand Update Survey

Thursday April 11th, 2024
Exciting changes are ahead of us! We are in the process of enhancing the World Blind Union brand and creating a fresh new website and we want to hear from you. Click here to complete the survey.

Inspiring inclusion and ending violence against women and girls – World Blind Union Statement for International Women’s Day 2024

Friday March 8th, 2024
Toronto, March 8, 2024 – The World Blind Union (WBU) proudly stands with the global community in marking International Women’s Day, a celebration of progress, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of women worldwide. This year’s campaign theme, “Inspire Inclusion,” resonates deeply with our commitment to fostering an environment where women’s inclusion is not just encouraged... View Article

WBU and ICEVI release joint position statements to mark International Day of Education

Tuesday January 23rd, 2024
The International Day of Education is an annual international observance day held on January 24 dedicated to education. This year, WBU, in collaboration with ICEVI, is excited to release two jointly developed position statements on the topic of education to mark this important occasion. The goal of these statements is to support local advocacy for... View Article

Join the World Blind Union as a Communications Specialist!

Thursday January 11th, 2024
The World Blind Union (WBU) is seeking a dynamic Communications Specialist to join our team and drive our global communication efforts. This contract position, reporting directly to Marc Workman, CEO, offers a flexible location and an initial one-year term, with the prospect of renewal based on funding availability. Applications are open until January 26, 2024.... View Article

Call for Proposal: World Blind Union Seeks Rebranding Specialist

Friday September 8th, 2023
INTRODUCTION World Blind Union (WBU) is releasing a Request for Proposals for organizations to design and develop a corporate identity/brand as part of a brand refresh. We invite interested parties to submit a proposal by September 30, 2023 that includes timeline, cost, and deliverables, with more details below that outline our criteria for selection. Proposals... View Article

Lego Braille Bricks: Making Learning Braille an Inclusive Adventure for All

Friday August 25th, 2023
Since their introduction in 2020, Lego Braille Bricks have been transforming the educational landscape for individuals with blindness or partial sight. Originally limited to select educational organizations through charitable channels, these innovative bricks are now breaking barriers by becoming available for purchase by the wider public. This significant expansion comes after the undeniable impact the... View Article

We Firmly Believe that Inclusion Begins at the Local Level

Tuesday July 18th, 2023
“At the World Blind Union, we firmly believe that inclusion begins at the local level where governments, civil society and communities would join forces to create accessible, inclusive and resilient environments,” the strong opening remarks from the WBU C.E.O Marc Workman at the UN High Level Political Forum in New York. World Blind Union and... View Article

WBU joins WIPO in celebrating 10years of the Marrakesh Treaty

Monday July 17th, 2023
World Blind Union (WBU) joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to mark 10 years of the Marrakesh treaty in Geneva at the WIPO headquarters. Speaking at the ceremony, Ms. Martine Abel-Williamson, World Blind Union (WBU) President, recalled the WBU’s pivotal role in advocating for the Treaty and ongoing efforts to ensure its full implementation.... View Article

WBU & UCLG Policy Brief on Localization as the solution to the Accessibility Crisis

Wednesday July 12th, 2023
The World Blind Union (WBU) and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) in collaboration with UN-Habitat, the International Disability Alliance, the GAP PCG Older Persons Constituency Group and the Cities for All Network, have developed a policy brief – Localization to Solve the Accessibility Crisis; Recommendations to States Parties for Immediate Action – to solve... View Article

Accessible Smart Cities: Ensuring urban equality through technologies for all

Tuesday July 4th, 2023
Accessibility is an internationally recognized human right and a precondition for inclusion and participation in society. In the present context of rapid urbanization, the proliferation of accessibility barriers has become a pressing concern, further exacerbating social exclusion and deepening inequalities within urban communities. We joined the UN-Habitat and the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and... View Article

WBU WEBINAR: Breaking Down Accessibility Barriers Through Localisation

Monday June 26th, 2023
In this event we discussed why localisation is such a powerful tool for breaking down accessibility barriers and creating more inclusive societies. It will highlight the critical role of local and regional governments and OPDs in ensuring that accessibility is a priority and that the rights of persons with disabilities are respected, promoted, and realised.... View Article

World Blind Union mourns the passing of blind children in a school fire in Uganda – calls for investigation

Friday October 28th, 2022
It has saddened us greatly at the WBU to hear the tragic news of the dormitory fire that killed children at a school for the blind in Uganda. We wish to send our heartfelt condolences during this very difficult time to the school, parents, and everyone affected. We call upon authorities to thoroughly investigate what... View Article

The WBU celebrates International White Cane Safety Day with Canes for Ukraine

Saturday October 15th, 2022
On Saturday, October 15, 2022, the World Blind Union will celebrate White Cane Safety Day. Each year, the WBU, along with millions of blind and partially sighted individuals across the world, commemorates this important day. On this day, we celebrate not only the white cane as a mobility tool, but all that it represents –... View Article

WBU mourns the loss of Rodolfo Cattani

Friday September 9th, 2022
The World Blind Union is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Prof. Rodolfo Cattani, President of the European Blind Union. This is a significant loss for the blindness and broader disability community. Rodolfo was a tireless advocate for the full inclusion of people with disabilities both within Europe and beyond. Although his... View Article

The World Blind Union is hiring!

Friday September 2nd, 2022
We are excited to announce two job opportunities with the World Blind Union. We are hiring a Human Rights Policy Advisor and a Communications Specialist. Please review the attached job postings for all the details. Applications are due by September 14, 2022 at 11:59 pm eastern. Human Rights Policy Advisor Communications Specialist

Call for applications – WBU seeks evaluation consultant

Friday September 2nd, 2022
Over the last three years, the World Blind Union has been engaging in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and is interested to evaluate the impact, learnings and opportunities generated by the Global Programme for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (IAUD). Position start date and duration: The consultancy will commence upon signing the contract... View Article

Hannes Lagrelius from World Blind Union (WBU) – wrap up from World Urban Forum 11

Wednesday July 6th, 2022
Hannes Lagrelius, Programme Officer for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development at the World Blind Union provides a few concluding thoughts about our participation at the  World Urban Forum 11, in Katowice, Poland.  Our participation would not have been possible without the financial support from CBM Global Disability Inclusion and the Swiss Development Cooperation – thank... View Article

For Immediate Release: World Blind Union and City Space Architecture launch a special issue of the Journal of Public Space

Thursday June 30th, 2022
Katowice, Poland At the 11th World Urban Forum – taking place in Katowice, Poland – the World Blind Union (WBU) and City Space Architecture have launched “Universally Accessible Public Spaces for All”, a special issue of the Journal of Public Space. The launch of this issue is the realization of a commitment WBU and City... View Article

Marc Workman, World Blind Union CEO kicks off our participation at World Forum 11 on Urban Development

Monday June 27th, 2022
Marc Workman, the CEO of the World Blind Union and the team are currently attending the World Urban Forum 11 in Katowice Poland. World Urban Forum 11 is the global Premier conference on Urban Development. WBU is part of a delegation of people with disabilities and we’re there to participate in high-level conversations, to advocate,... View Article

Benjamin Dard and Hannes Lagrelius from World Blind Union (WBU) discuss their upcoming attendance at World Urban Forum (WUF).

Monday June 6th, 2022
Catch up with the team as they prepare to attend the World Urban Forum 11 in Poland. We are becoming more urban as a global population. In just a few decades by 2050, it is expected that more than 70% of the world’s population will be living in large cities, intermediary cities and urban communities.... View Article

Statement at the United Nations General Assembly, High-Level Meeting on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda

Friday April 29th, 2022
Hannes Lagrelius, Program Officer, Global Program for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development and the team from World Blind Union attended the High-Level Meeting (HLM) on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) at the United Nations this week. The UN HLM sets policy directions and programmatic initiatives from urban stakeholders and put forward concrete... View Article

URGENT APPEAL: WBU establishes the Ukrainian Unity Fund to support blind people in Ukraine and to help them rebuild following the conflict.

Friday April 1st, 2022
URGENT APPEAL: We are concerned about the plight of blind people in Ukraine – how they are coping, accessing the supports they need and staying safe.  Also, we know that people will likely lose their vision during the conflict.  It is well known that, during times of conflict, those with disabilities are often left behind. We... View Article

WBU stands united with Ukraine and is taking action to help

Sunday March 20th, 2022
Like nearly all governments, organizations, and concerned individuals around the world, the WBU condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This pointless war will cause tremendous suffering for people all over the world, particularly for those in Ukraine, and especially for Ukrainians who are blind or partially sighted. War and disability... View Article

2022 Holman Prize for Blind Ambition: Applications are now open

Friday January 21st, 2022
LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is pleased to announce applications for the annual Holman Prize for Blind Ambition for 2022 are now Open!

The Time is Now: Taking Louis’s Lead by Martine Abel-Williamson, World Blind Union President

Tuesday January 4th, 2022
January 4 every year is internationally observed as World Braille Day to commemorate the birthday of French educator Louis Braille.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream audio described broadcast ballet

Monday December 6th, 2021
Following the success and feedback from the previous digital audio described broadcast events, this December you’ll be able to experience this ballet in the comfort of your own living room

White Cane Day 2021: Voices from the new leaders of the World Blind Union

Friday October 15th, 2021
The World Blind Union (WBU) is observing White Cane Safety Day on Friday 15th October 2021. White Cane Safety Day reminds the world of the importance of the White Cane as a tool for independent living for persons who are blind and partially sighted.

The World Blind Union is seeking a Chief Executive Officer

Friday October 8th, 2021
Reporting directly to the President of the World Blind Union, the CEO will have the responsibilities and requirements detailed in the job advertisement and application pack. Location: Flexible Start Date: To be negotiated Application deadline: 29th October 2021 Download full Application Package: Job advertisement and application

People with sight loss in the UK can now access thousands of audio books through Alexa

Thursday September 9th, 2021
Customers of the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) Talking Books library are now able to access their audio books by asking Alexa, as well as through RNIB’s usual library services.

Universally Accessible Public Spaces for All: Call for abstracts by 15 October

Monday September 6th, 2021
Do you like to contribute towards raising awareness and learning around universal design, accessibility, and inclusion in public spaces?

Consultancy assignment to facilitate the development of the World Blind Union Strategic Plan

Monday August 16th, 2021
Latest Vacancy with the World Blind Union Position start date and duration: The consultancy will commence upon signing the contract in September 2021 and will last for 3.5 months. In total, the consultant is expected to be engaged for up to 25 working days. With the exception of one workshop in Europe (location to be... View Article

World Blind Union General Assembly: Elections’ Results

Wednesday June 23rd, 2021
For its 10th General Assembly, the World Blind Union (WBU) has organized the first global accessible online participatory process to elect its new Table Officers. 280 WBU delegates have elected Martine Abel-Williamson (New Zealand) as the new President of the World Blind Union. Martine Abel-Williamson is on the board of WBU national member Blind Citizens... View Article

Important announcement to all World Blind Union members and funding partners

Tuesday June 15th, 2021
The World Blind Union (WBU) is sad to announce the early resignation of Dr Frederic K. Schroeder from the position of WBU President. Dr Schroeder, who was elected President of the WBU in 2016 during the last General Assembly, resigned on 13th June, 2021 due to personal circumstances that prevent him from carrying out his... View Article

Urban accessibility: WBU Program Officer appointed to key UN stakeholder advisory group

Wednesday June 9th, 2021
Mr. Hannes Juhlin Lagrelius is responsible for coordinating the World Blind Union (WBU) ’s Global Program for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development. He was just appointed as an independent expert by the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) to their Stakeholder Advisory Group Enterprise (SAGE), amongst 140 nominations, together with six... View Article

Reach the furthest behind first: Persons with disabilities must be prioritized in accessing COVID-19 vaccinations

Wednesday January 13th, 2021
Recommendations by the International Disability Alliance ​ (IDA): On behalf of persons with disabilities and their organizations as well as support networks all over the world, we call on all governments, United Nations agencies and the private sector to immediately take all measures to ensure that: COVID-19 vaccinations are available in free or low-cost targeted... View Article

WBU statement for World Braille Day – 4 January 2021

Sunday December 20th, 2020
January 4th 2021 is world braille day. In 2018, the UN General Assembly officially designated the world braille day as a day to raise awareness of the importance of braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for persons who are blind or partially sighted. World braille day commemorates... View Article

WBU Statement for Human Rights Day 2020

Friday December 4th, 2020
On Thursday 10 December 2020, the World Blind Union joins the rest of the world in observing Human Rights Day under the theme: Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights. This year’s theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring that Human Rights are central to... View Article

WBU Knowledge Learning Platform: End-user survey

Wednesday December 2nd, 2020
Dear WBU member, We are writing to you with news of an exciting development taking place at the WBU over the coming months. In an effort to support you with the critical advocacy work that you are doing, we are currently exploring ideas for how to develop an accessible, interactive online platform to host rights-based... View Article

WBU statement on International Day of persons with disabilities – 3 December 2020

Friday November 27th, 2020
The World Blind Union (WBU), joins the rest of the world on Thursday 3rd December 2020 to observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities under the theme “building back better, toward a disability inclusive, accessible and sustainable post Covid-19 world”. The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed in... View Article

WBU Expands Global initiatives with appointment of four new fellows

Friday November 13th, 2020
The World Blind Union (WBU) has recruited four new fellows to support the WBU-NORADs’ Project Fellowship and the WBU-IW (Inclusion Works Project) under the IDA’s Fellowship Programme. The International Disability Alliance (IDA) Fellowship Programme has a dual objective of providing support to IDA members’ operational capacity to advance the rights of persons with disabilities and... View Article

WBU and CBM Global launch new Accessibility Guide

Monday November 2nd, 2020
Press Release: The World Blind Union (WBU) and CBM Global Disability Inclusion have launched the new Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action. With 10 years to realise the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, accessibility is the foundation to building a more inclusive, equitable world where no-one is left behind in line with the UN Convention on... View Article

WBU expresses solidarity with members in Turkey

Monday November 2nd, 2020
The World Blind Union extends deepest sympathies to all members in Turkey affected by the powerful earthquake that struck the Aegean Sea last Friday. According to Media reports, dozens of people have died, hundreds injured, and several families have been displaced. It was the deadliest earthquake in Turkey since one in the eastern city of... View Article

WBU Statement on World Cities day, 31 October 2020

Tuesday October 27th, 2020
October 31st, 2020 is World Cities day. Under the overarching theme of Better City, Better Life, the aim of the day is to focus the international community’s attention on urbanisation as a central issue for development and to encourage cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing urban challenges towards sustainable development. The sub-theme for this year... View Article

WBU statement on White Cane Safety Day on Thursday 15 October 2020

Thursday October 15th, 2020
The World Blind Union (WBU) joins the rest of the world in observing White Cane Safety Day on Thursday 15th October 2020. White Cane Safety Day reminds the world of the importance of the White Cane as a tool for independent living for persons who are blind and partially sighted. As the world grapples with... View Article

Messages of condolence for WBU Secretary General, Mr Ajai Kumar Mittal

Thursday October 1st, 2020
We at the World Blind Union (WBU) were shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of our Secretary General, Mr Ajai Kumar Mittal,  on 22 September 2020. Mr. Mittal passed away at Yatharth hospital, Noida Extension, in India. He left behind his wife Meera, daughter Nitika and son in law, Dushyant. Mr. Mittal was the Secretary... View Article

WBU Global Report – COVID-19, Amplifying Voices, Our Lives, Our Say

Wednesday August 26th, 2020
The World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a webinar on 4 September 2020 to launch a global report – “COVID-19, AMPLIFYING VOICES: OUR LIVES, OUR SAY” examining 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... View Article

IDA-IDDC statement on the Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Thursday July 9th, 2020
The International Disability Alliance (IDA) & International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) have released a statement to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day, today Thursday 21 May 2020. Please read the following and visit the IDA website for more information: “Through our accessibility campaign, we called on United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and several UN agencies... View Article

WBU Call to Action -19 Actions for an inclusive Covid-19 response

Thursday May 7th, 2020
This Call for Action is produced by World Blind Union, the global organisation representing the estimated 253 million persons who are blind and partially sighted worldwide. The actions are in line with recommendations by other Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs) and reflect the urgent needs of WBUs constituency following the spread of COVID-19 and... View Article

WBU calls for accessible and inclusive services on Corona Virus

Monday March 30th, 2020
The World Blind Union is calling on governments and national leaders to ensure that public information and health care communication messages regarding the Corona Virus Pandemic are accessible to all including the blind and partially sighted persons. Essential information should be made available in accessible formats such as braille, audio, large print, plain language and... View Article

WBU-ICEVI Joint General Assemblies Postponed to 21-26 May 2021

Monday March 30th, 2020
Dear Members and Friends, The World Blind Union (WBU), the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI), and the Organización Nacional de (ONCE) announce the postponement of the joint WBU and ICEVI general assemblies. The WBU/ICEVI joint general assemblies will be held from May 21 through 26, 2021 in Madrid. Thanks to... View Article
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