Students learning braille in Uganda

Students learning braille in Uganda

Promoting Education Rights of Persons with Disabilities


The WBU promotes braille literacy, lifelong learning, and independent living for blind and partially sighted persons in developing countries. This is in line with Article 24 of the UNCRPD which calls for inclusive education system at all levels to ensure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability. Read full Article

WBU Scholarships were established by the World Braille Foundation. In 2019, the World Braille Foundation was dissolved and the scholarships are now managed by the World Blind Union. The WBU  appreciates the scholarships’ sponsors for their continued support.

The following scholarships are available and eligible candidates are invited to submit their applications. The scholarships committees select and approve candidates to be awarded the scholarships.

Barbara Marjeram Braille Literacy Scholarship

The World Braille Foundation (WBF) established the Barbara Marjeram Braille Scholarship in 2008 to commemorate Barbara’s 20-year career at CNIB and to recognize her contribution to Braille Literacy at the world level. The WBF Board wishes to acknowledge the inaugural donation received from Robert (Bob) Waugh, CNIB Honorary Chairman and his late wife, Audrey Graydon Waugh. The Waughs encouraged this tribute out of their respect for Barbara’s professional work and their own personal friendship.

This Braille Award is also supported by designated donations from other friends of WBF together with Barbara’s family and friends. The funds initial goal is to designate a minimum capital investment of $20,000. Based on the annual interest or a designated financial gift, the Foundation will award two or more awards of up to $500 US each annually. Read more

Gerald Dirks Scholarship

Established in 2013 the Gerald Dirks Scholarship Selection Committee awards one or more scholarships annually, up to US Dollars 1000 each, to eligible blind or visually impaired women and men between the ages of 18 – 35 years from a developing country, with preference given to the Africa region. Applicants are expected to possess Braille reading and writing skills. Candidates should have pre-requisite education or training to qualify either as a teacher of blind pupils; train as a teaching assistant working alongside a qualified teacher in the classroom or be involved in a creative braille literacy project. Read more

The Mary Hochhausen Prize for Music And Literacy

This Prize was established by E. (Ben) Hochhausen in 2014 to honour the memory of his late wife Mary and to celebrate her joy and love of music; her family values; her commitment to education and to community service.

When established it was the intent of the family that the full amount of the capital ($100,000) including earned interest, by expended in approximately a 15-year timeframe. Read more

Hermoine Grant Calhoun Scholarship Fund

The Hermoine Grant Calhoun Scholarship was established by means of a bequest of 35,000 US$, from Dr. Isabelle Grant in memory of her daughter, Hermoine Grant Calhoun. Dr. Isabelle Grant had been a high school teacher in Los Angeles, California in the United States. After losing her sight, Dr. Grant became very active in the National Federation of the Blind and developed a keen interest in blind people in developing countries. Read more


Marrakesh Treaty

The Marrakesh Treaty Ratification and Implementation Campaign states that Reading is a human right.Yet, over 90% of all published materials cannot be read by blind or print-disabled people. Read more


CRPD Article 24 – Education: States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning… Read more