Work Plan



“Promoting full participation, equal opportunities, and protecting the human rights of blind and partially sighted persons in all aspects of social, economic, political and cultural life and ensuring that our voice is heard at the global, regional and national levels in all matters affecting our lives.”

1.1. Strategic Objective 1: Representing Blind and Partially Sighted Persons at the United Nations and relevant UN Agencies and Treaty bodies at the global and regional levels

1.1.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Ensuring adequate representation and engagement of blind and partially sighted persons in UN agencies and Treaty bodies at the global level, particularly through our work with IDA, our presence at COSP, the CRPD Committee and the High Level Political Forum to the SDG’s; and through the development of collaboration with UNCHR, UNICEF, UNDP, UN Women, WHO and others as relevant.


  • Ensure representation at key UN meetings, such as COSP, HLPF, CRPD committees, WHO, etc.
  • Make submissions to relevant treaty bodies that invite comments or submissions on topics of relevance to blind and partially sighted persons – either in partnership with IDA, with Vision Alliance members or independently on behalf of WBU.
  • Ensure appropriate inclusion of issues of relevance to blind and partially sighted persons within IDA interventions and submissions
  • Undertake and monitor the Collaboration Plan with WHO to ensure retention of our Official Relations Status.
  • Participate actively in the development of the WHO World Report on Vision
  • Compile quadrennial monitoring report for ECOSOC (2019)

1.1.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Ensuring adequate representation of Blind/Partially sighted persons in UN agencies at the regional level through regional bodies.


  • Identifying key contact persons in each of key agencies at regional level;
  • Sharing opportunities for representation at regional UN agency events;
  • Identifying WBU representatives for representation;
  • Provide support to regional representation as needed;
  • Monitoring events and documenting WBU participation

1.1.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Developing strategies to influence and make accountable UN Agencies regarding their implementation of human rights and other relevant UN programs and services; this includes attendance at the COSP, CRPD Committee and the annual HLPF. In particular, advocating for improved gender equity within the CRPD committee (reference resolution 2016 – 3).


  • Regular attendance at COSP, HLPF, WHA, WIPO, UPU and other relevant UN bodies
  • Encourage WBU members to advocate with their countries that are engaged in the voluntary review process at HLPF, the CRPD committees
  • Advocate for improved gender equity on the CRPD committee and disability representation on other UN bodies

1.1.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Ensure that our voice is heard through the issuance of press releases, messages and social media activity through the promotion of relevant international days.


  • Identify UN recognized International Days of most relevance and importance to WBU
  • Identify key messages that WBU wishes to convey for each international day
  • Develop press releases and messages to commemorate the significant international days, placing on website and providing to WBU members to support their messaging efforts
  • Support international day messaging efforts through social media

1.1.5. INITIATIVE # 5: Influencing the UN for the recognition of World Braille Day or White Cane Safety Day as international UN Day and motivating national members to lobby their governments to move/support the initiative at the appropriate UN forum.


  • Studying the process related to recognition;
  • Preparing strategic interventions and related documents;
  • Identifying and preparing the country for presenting the demand;
  • Identifying key contact persons both in UN and the presenting country

1.2. Strategic Objective 2: 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 (CRPD) at both the international and national levels

1.2.1. INITIATIVE #1: Provide support to members from countries where the CRPD has not yet been ratified to work towards its ratification.


  • Mapping by regions the countries which have not yet ratified the UNCRPD
  • Online workshops with WBU national members to advocate for the UNCRPD ratification
  • Regional workshops to develop and implement strategies for the adoption and ratification of the UNCRPD
  • Develop and implement a social media campaign to advocate for the ratification of the UNCRPD

1.2.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Promote the use of the CRPD toolkit, fact sheets and other tools and resources that WBU has already developed to members to support their national implementation and monitoring efforts.


  • Update WBU existing resources about UNCRPD and other UN tools
  • Develop a document with the UNCRPD jurisprudence to be utilized by our national members in their advocacy efforts
  • Develop an online platform with useful resources for WBU national members for their advocacy actions
  • Design a communication plan to keep WBU national members updated with regard to UNCRPD
  • Good practices exchange platform

1.2.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Develop strategies for increased awareness and training of members on the CRPD and its implications, using and promoting current resources and other opportunities.


  • Develop training both regional and nationally oriented to WBU national members for CRPD implementation and monitoring
  • To strengthen WBU regional structures in CRPD monitoring
  • Participate representing WBU in other UN Agencies

1.2.4. INITIATIVE #4: Provide guidance and support to members whose countries are being reviewed by the CRPD monitoring committee to ensure that they are participating in the DPO efforts in their country to develop parallel reports for the CRPD monitoring and that the needs of blind and partially sighted persons are appropriately included.


  • To establish a list of regional focal points who can provide technical assistance to countries under revision
  • Develop training to WBU national members to effectively engage with other CSOs
  • Regular meetings to discuss cooperation strategies
  • Monthly e-bulletin with relevant information
  • Deliver training to WBU national members to elaborate and submit written contributions to different treaty bodies

1.2.5. INITIATIVE #5: Ensure linkages between the SDG implementation and monitoring as well as for the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the Marrakesh Treaty so that our CRPD advocacy work is reflective and inclusive of our multiple priorities.


  • Deliver in alliance with IDA trainings on bridging the UNCRPD, SDGS and Marrakesh Treaty
  • Create a list of funding and cooperation opportunities for WBU members
  • Quarterly e-bulletin with relevant information

1.3. Strategic Objective 3: 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

1.3.1 INITIATIVE # 1: Develop a simple toolkit and fact sheets for WBU members to help educate them about the SDG’s, their importance and relevance to blind and partially sighted persons, the most relevant goals and targets and how they can and should engage


  • Produce guidelines for WBU members on SDGS
  • Elaborate a list of external resources related to both issues (UNCRPD and SDGS)
  • Provide technical assistance to WBU members in their efforts around SDGS

1.3.2 INITIATIVE # 2: Develop training strategies for members in the use of the above tools, using technology resources such as webinars, skype conferences and so forth in order to help members develop their understanding of the SDG’s


  • Deliver trainings on UNCRPD substance and SDGs implementation
  • Produce guidance on reporting mechanisms
  • Deliver webinars and teleconferences on SDGs and UNCRPD

1.3.3 INITIATIVE # 3: Develop strategies to support countries that will be reviewed by the HLPF (High Level Political Forum) to ensure that the needs of blind and partially sighted persons are reflected in the process


  • Provide technical assistance
  • Provide support to WBU members to fundraise for participation in UN revision meetings or events
  • Provide support to WBU national members to engage with the CSOs to effectively include the needs of blind and partially sighted persons in alternative reports

1.3.4 INITIATIVE # 4: Ensure linkages between the SDG implementation and monitoring and the CRPD implementation and monitoring work to ensure that our interventions are reflective and inclusive of our multiple priorities


  • Deliver training to WBU members in countries which will be reviewed by different UN mechanism
  • Elaborate guidance on different reporting processes
  • Participate representing WBU at different UN meetings where review processes are held

1.3.5 INITIATIVE # 5: Develop strategy and processes to collect and use disaggregated data to support our advocacy efforts and interventions (as per resolution 2016-4)


  • Develop and implement a set of trainings for WBU members on data collection and statistics
  • Elaborate a guidance for WBU members regarding advocacy strategies for data collection
  • Produce position papers and statements with regard to different data collection methods
  • Deliver training to WBU regional presidents on the need of data collection
  • Participation of WBU in different conferences or events related to data collection
  • Explore and analyze different data collection methods relevant for blind and partially sighted persons

1.4. Strategic Objective 4: Advocating for and promoting the human rights of blind and partially sighted persons

1.4.1 INITIATIVE # 1: Develop a strategy to articulate how best the WBU can identify, monitor and respond to human rights and advocacy issues that are facing our members; some examples might include access to accessible voting, visa and immigration issues


  • Develop a regional network of regional coordinators and national champions to function as nodal points and facilitate investigation and interventions regarding human rights issues that are brought forward
  • Ensure coordination with national and regional CRPD, Marrakesh and other Human Rights networks to provide support and avoid overlap and confusion
  • Define the types of human rights violations that would be appropriate for action – national or international
  • Develop tools and guidelines for sharing with members and posted on the WBU website (such as information about legislation, successful interventions, examples of good practice)

1.4.2 INITIATIVE # 2: Encourage and support members to participate in the UNCHR Universal Periodic Review Process


  • Update and revise our existing fact sheets and tools regarding the UPR process
  • Disseminate the revised tools and develop capacity building process to share and heighten understanding of tools by means of webinars, regional meetings and so forth
  • Encourage all WBU members to actively participate in UPR process when their country comes up for review, utilizing the assistance of the WBU Human Rights Policy Advisor

1.4.3 INITIATIVE # 3: Examine the findings and recommendations from the Human Rights Study Report conducted by the WBU intern in 2014, as well as the AFUB Human Rights Study report conducted in 2016 in order to inform the strategy


  • Review the reports and identify key issues
  • Revise strategy accordingly

1.4.4 INITIATIVE # 4: Consider how WBU can best provide advocacy support in situations of serious human rights abuses or where blind persons are particularly vulnerable, such as those who are in prisons


  • Develop mechanism for reporting on violations through regional and national networks
  • Develop a repository for collecting and sharing information regarding violations, interventions and results
  • Consider appropriate means for gathering and sharing information, initially internally, perhaps via a dropbox folder and eventually through a dedicated section on the WBU website

1.4.5 INITIATIVE # 5: Investigate the development of collaborative relationships with other international human rights and humanitarian organizations such as Amnesty International, International Red Cross, and others


  • Investigate international organizations that are involved in human rights and humanitarian work and how they are engaged with supporting issues of persons with disabilities
  • Develop a strategy for engaging with those organizations deemed appropriate based on this investigation

1.4.6 INITIATIVE # 6: Establish a network of blind/partially sighted persons engaged at political level within their countries in order to help influence processes


  • The committee will solicit information from WBU member countries about the persons who are engaged at political levels in their respective countries along with their contact details
  • Develop a database and network to connect these political leaders at regional levels who may be able to assist with influencing processes as well as assisting the regions to help advocate for important human rights treaties and facilitate the exchange of best practice

1.5. Strategic Objective 5: 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

1.5.1 INITIATIVE # 1: Develop strategy to support WBU’s role and engagement in situations of disaster, humanitarian emergency or conflict, using relevant resources


  • Identification of resources, discussion on strategies, documentation
  • Develop a MoU (or similar agreement) with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)
  • Adoption of a WBU Declaration on the situation of Blind and Partially sighted displaced and refugee people by the action of Disaster

1.5.2 INITIATIVE # 2: Develop simple tools and resources for the use of our WBU members to support their advocacy and interventions


  • Development of guidelines for organizations & individuals, translation, dissemination
  • Develop targets and actions for implementing targets a and b of the Sendai framework and presenting a set of proposals for its 4 priorities of action.
  • Ensure inclusion of reporting on blind and partially sighted people in the annual report of UNISDR
  • Targeted action to empower WBU members in DRR national contexts as well as to lobby governments to voluntary join the framework
  • Include the needs of blind and partially sighted in the collection of data proposed by SDGs
  • Ensuring governments join the voluntary scheme of Sendai

1.5.3 INITIATIVE # 3: Liaise and collaborate with international humanitarian and relief organizations to inform them of our unique needs and ensure that our needs are reflected and included in their efforts


  • Collection of resources and practices, search for opportunities to have dialogues with international organizations, guidelines for humanitarian organizations
  • Adoption of a quick response mechanism in disaster situations at National level, highlighting the needs of blind and partially sighted people through social media and other ways of communication (in cooperation with communication committee)
  • Creation of a solidarity instrument to channel support intra-WBU towards countries in risk of disaster or after


“Strengthening the capabilities and capacity of the WBU regional structures and member organisations”

2.1. Strategic Objective 1: Improving employment opportunities for blind and partially sighted persons

2.1.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Continue to develop and promote the Project Aspiro web site


  • Identify resources, financial or in-kind, to keep site current and up to date
  • Promote Project Aspiro to all stakeholders
  • Continuously identify resources to add to the site
  • Continue to collect: successful stories of employment, good peer support programs and accessible micro credit and micro finance programs used in the WBU regions and include them as part of the Aspiro website

2.1.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Encourage employment of persons who are blind and partially sighted at the national level

Develop tools for WBU members to use at the national level to:

  • Promote research regarding policies and measures to support the promotion of employment opportunities for blind and partially sighted persons;
  • Promote the establishment of vocational training programs and institutions that will enable and ensure equal access to work-related qualifications and professional registration, run by public and private sectors;
  • Urge companies producing information and communication technologies to ensure and develop accessible technologies that will assist blind and partially sighted individuals at the workplace;
  • Urge and formulate mechanisms for employers to positively introduce accessible information and communication technologies for their blind and partially sighted employees;
  • Enhance the system of human assistance supporting blind and partially sighted employees in the area of document processing, mobility and other aspects; and including systems to share work functions between sighted, and blind and partially sighted employees, in such a way that suit to their individual abilities

2.1.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Conduct a research project to determine facilitators and barriers to employment


  • Scope out extent of desired research
  • Consider including different employment models employed within countries (such as quota systems, segregated workshop settings) to ascertain and share differences and benefits
  • Identify potential research partners
  • Develop approach to engage all WBU regions
  • Analyze results of research
  • Publish research findings

2.1.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Identify opportunities to work with organizations at the international level to improve employment for persons who are blind or have low vision


  • Continue to find opportunities to work with ILO disability unit to share the WBU employment initiative and influence the work they are doing on employment for persons who have disabilities
  • Where opportunities arise, find ways to participate in activities being organized by: IDA, CRPD committee, other UN bodies, to present, prepare articles or input to conferences, general days of discussion, webinars on employment
  • Identify opportunities to present the WBU Employment Initiatives to prospective employers at various conferences

2.2. Strategic Objective 2: Work to ensure the sustainability of the WBU Regions

2.2.1. INITIATIVE #1: Establishment of a working group to examine regional union sustainability issues


  • Consolidation of the working group
  • Development of functioning documents for the working group
  • Establishment of communication and decision making procedures
  • Establishment of regular meetings to be held by the working group

2.2.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Identification of issues being faced by regions with respect to their sustainability and ability to support regional work


  • Development and circulation of a survey to collect accurate information from the WBU regional structures about the main challenges they face with regard to sustainability
  • Development, on the base of the existing documents and guidance, new tools to be used by the WBU regional structures to ensure their sustainability
  • Development and implementation of a fundraising campaign to support the work of the 6 WBU regions

2.2.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Develop strategies to support the strengthening of regional unions focused on collaboration and sharing rather than strictly financial support for which the WBU itself also has limited resources


  • Training sessions for regional leaders to tackle issues related to sustainability
  • Development of guidelines for regional organizations on sustainability issues
  • Provision of technical advice to regional organizations for their sustainability
  • Examine opportunities for using pro-bono assistance offered by corporate entities through CSR programs

2.3. Strategic Objective 3: Improving the capacity of our member organizations, including our International members, to engage with each other to facilitate interactions, resource sharing, and working collaboratively

2.3.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Establishment of a Development Committee to undertake the work related to this objective

Committee already established; possible action points for its functioning could be as follows:

  • Plan meetings of the Development Committee, face-to-face and tele-conferencing, to coincide with Officers’ meetings
  • Convene meetings–face-to-face and tele-conference–with the help of the Office
  • Formulate and circulate action-points for consideration at the meetings
  • Take follow-up action, as appropriate, for progressing work on the decisions/conclusions at Committee meetings
  • Work in close co-ordination with SO 1.2, 1.3 and 2.5.

2.3.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Foster and strengthen the cooperation and partnership between organizations involved in international development and the WBU


  • Build on work undertaken/completed on this initiative during the last term
  • Identify and involve new development partners in our work on the initiative
  • Analyze ways and channels to further build bridges of co-operation between regions and national members, where appropriate, with identified development organizations and agencies
  • Examine and come to some workable conclusions to ascertain how best WBU, with its existing mandate, strengths and limitations, could act as a focal point for promoting interaction between identified development partners and our regions and members
  • Examine collaboration with WBU international members for establishing and promoting partnerships with development organizations
  • Have linkages with the Initiative 5 dealing with the use of Resource Manual for fostering and strengthening partnerships and co-operation between international development organizations and WBU and its regions

2.3.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Compilation, development and dissemination of good practice information related to capacity building


  • Review compilation and dissemination of good practice information undertaken/completed during the previous term to see how that could serve as building blocks of related work during the present term
  • Examine and take forward work initiated in the form of Report on the Organizational Development (capacity building) done in 2014 under the aegis of the previous Development Committee
  • Examine and analyze ways and modalities of possible support (not necessarily financial contribution) from international members for Regions and National Members towards capacity-building
  • Obtain from Regions/National Members examples of good practices in relation to capacity-building
  • Material thus received to be analyzed and summarized for dissemination through the WBU website and communication channels of Regions, where available

2.3.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Examine the impact of mainstreaming and the cross-disability approaches to development in collaboration with Rehabilitation working group


  • Define the specific scope of the Initiative–what particular elements to be covered; whether disability-specific element to be also included
  • Initiative to be developed in close collaboration with the Working Group–SO 2.5: Access to Rehabilitation Services
  • Locate and study Report of the 4-member working group set up at the Officers’ meeting in Hong Kong in 2014 for collating information and experience to help in subsequent preparation of a paper on the subject of this Initiative
  • Locate with the help of the WBU office, and study the Paper updated and circulated to Committee Members with policy elements and indications of ways forward at the end of the previous term, to get useful hints for undertaking further work
  • Obtain from Committee members representing Regions, their experience/feedback regarding success or otherwise of disability-specific/cross-disability/mainstream programmes and approaches to work for the blind and partially sighted
  • Take action for posting, as far as possible, such feedback from Regions on WBU website

2.3.5. INITIATIVE # 5: Develop an action plan to utilizes the information, resources and tools contained in the Development Resource manual developed in the last term (Strategic Objective 1.3) with respect to working with international development organizations so that these are updated and expanded and our members understand and utilize these resources


  • Review to see whether the Resource Guide to Development Agencies (Resource Manual) requires updating and, if so, identify specific portions which need to be updated
  • Make an effort of preparing a summary of the Resource Guide
  • Explore the possibility of having the prepared summary of the Guide translated into some major languages in a phased manner
  • Work with some select Regions for submitting projects to a couple of development agencies outlined in the Guide, as a test case
  • Look for sponsors to facilitate translation of the summary of the Guide

2.3.6. INITIATIVE # 6: Develop strategies to support the initiatives articulated in Strategic Objectives 1.2 and 1.3 to ensure that members have the willingness and capacity to engage in the CRPD and SDG processes

This Initiative will need to be developed on the basis of the plans presented under SO 1.2 and 1.3. As such, it would not be appropriate to anticipate the activities to be proposed under Action Plans of the said Strategic Objectives for developing our Plan. However, at this stage, some possible action points for our Initiative could be as follows, which would be subject to revision based on what the other Strategic Objectives propose:

  • Receive inputs from members, especially those representing the regions, on the issues and bottlenecks they have been encountering in the implementation and monitoring of the UNCRPD and the use of WBU resources
  • Help regions and through them national members on striving to have issues related to blindness field duly reflected in respective country reports and, if necessary, in parallel reports
  • Examine the possibility of suggesting a strategy, if required, on how best regions and national members can take advantage from the toolkit and other resources concerning SDG’s which may be developed under SO 1.3
  • Take steps, as appropriate, to help national members through regions to prevail upon their respective governments to include blindness-related policies, schemes and work-status in their respective reports presented for review at HLPF
  • Find out how best national members could benefit from the strategies to be developed under SO 1.3 for having blindness issues duly reflected in such reports to HLPF

2.4. Strategic Objective 4: Supporting our target populations for full inclusion

2.4.1. Objective # 1: Establish a Women’s Committee, with representation from all regions, to develop and implement a strategy aimed at the empowerment of blind and partially sighted women and leading to their increased engagement as leaders at the national, regional and international levels of WBU INITIATIVE # 1: Analyse the inclusion and participation of blind and partially sighted women in postsecondary women’s studies and leadership programs

Seek resources to conduct research study on:
a) The extent to which post-secondary women’s studies programs are include issues of concern to women who are blind or partially sighted; and to what extent blind and partially sighted women are enrolled in these programs
b) The extent to which blind and partially sighted women are enrolled in post-secondary education INITIATIVE # 2: Update WBU leadership and mentoring kit for blind women that was developed in 2004


  • Review Leadership and mentoring kit to determine appropriateness of current content
  • Revise content as appropriate
  • Identify gaps in content and sources for filling the gaps
  • Determine format options for kit – perhaps modular format on website, other options
  • Revise and publish Leadership & mentoring kit INITIATIVE # 3: Participate in IDA flagship for women & girls with disabilities


  • Actively engage in task group for the development and implementation of IDA flagship for women with disabilities
  • Engage with UN Women to ensure blind women’s issues are reflected in their program, particularly their initiatives related to gender based violence and sexual and reproductive health
  • Development of leadership initiatives for women with disabilities
  • Ensure that programs developed within IDA flagship reflect the needs of blind women and girls and that they can equally benefit from those programs INITIATIVE # 4: Develop program to enhance participation of blind women within leadership of WBU structures at national, regional and international levels


  • Identify women in leadership roles and examine specific roles they are playing
  • Identify barriers experienced by women to assume leadership roles
  • Identify resources/tools/programs for blind women to engage with to improve their leadership ability and confidence
  • Identify a certain number of potential women leaders within each region and establish a mentoring and development program for them
  • Engage closely with the WBU leadership working group Initiative # 5: Development of Women’s empowerment award to be awarded at 2020 General Assembly (As per GA Resolution 2016 – 1)


  • Develop terms of reference of the Women’s Empowerment Award as per the GA resolution.
  • Develop and implement a nominations process for the award.
  • Determine the nature of the award.
  • Present the Women’s Empowerment Award at the 2020 General Assembly

2.4.2. Objective # 2: Establish a Youth Committee, with representation from all Regions, to develop a strategy for increased youth engagement and participation in the WBU at all levels. (As per resolution 2016-5)
Objective Leader: Diane Bergeron INITIATIVE # 1: Recruit a youth leadership committee to assist with development of a strategy to engage youth in a more meaningful way in all areas of our WBU work


  • Assist the WBU with implementing our social media strategy that engages youth
  • Develop a youth Leadership and succession planning program that includes a strategy to continue the engagement of youth within WBU past the age of 30
  • Establish a Youth Scholarship fund to bring youth to the General Assembly
  • Investigate a Youth internship project together with sources of potential funding
  • Investigate the possibility of holding regional youth summits/conferences during the quadrennial with an exchange in order to bring a global perspective
  • Identify youth when provided with a WBU youth delegate opportunity

2.4.3. Objective # 3: Establish an Older Persons Committee INITIATIVE # 1: Establish an Older Persons Committee


  • Receive and evaluate nominations for membership from Regional Presidents, Table Officers and WBU Secretariat
  • Assemble a membership list, confirm willingness to serve
  • Obtain and circulate members’ bios and contact information
  • Convene and conduct an initial teleconference to examine and discuss potential committee activities as noted below INITIATIVE # 2: Establishment of Basic Working Framework

Through teleconferencing and email communications, establish a basic framework for committee activities and operations:

  • Terminology
  • Finalize activity plans
  • Agree on potential “divisions of labor”
  • Establish a basic research design appropriate to agreed-upon goals and outcomes INITIATIVE # 3: Compilation of Data and Background Research


  • Compilation of information and data from WBU member organizations and other potential sources regarding the elder demographic
  • Compile a body of information on older persons demographic and its inclusion or otherwise in organizational activities:
  • ◊ Advocacy within the framework of the UN CRPD
  • ◊ Peer support
  • ◊ Rehabilitation
  • ◊ Training
  • ◊ Public awareness etc. INITIATIVE # 4: Preparation of Materials


  • Initial drafting of materials intended to provide suggestions, information and guidelines for the inclusion of the elder demographic in organizational activities and operations
  • Circulation of initial draft of materials to select persons and organizations
  • Compilation of comments, suggestions, etc.
  • Preparation of second draft of document
  • Circulation of second draft
  • Compilation of comments, suggestions, etc.
  • Preparation of final draft
  • Development of strategies to encourage member organizations to use the materials and increase inclusiveness
  • Develop strategies to assist WBU and its member organizations to respond to the opportunities presented by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to establish projects or other such programmes to support work with the elder demographic INITIATIVE # 5: Final Presentation


  • Final preparation of materials for presentation
  • Presentation of materials to WBU

2.4.4. Objective # 4: Low Vision Working Group INITIATIVE # 1: Supporting Our Target Populations for Full Inclusion – Low Vision Working Group


  • Assess participation rate of partially sighted persons within WBU structures at national, regional and international levels
  • Identify barriers to participation and inclusion
  • Make recommendations for inclusion INITIATIVE # 2: Ensure needs of persons with low vision are reflected within advocacy interventions


  • Examine opportunities to present low vision perspective at relevant conferences
  • Ensure that tools and information provided to members for CRPD and SDG advocacy also reflect needs of persons with low vision
  • Ensure that submissions to UN agencies and other relevant bodies, reflecting needs and perspectives of blind persons also reflect the needs and perspectives of persons who are partially sighted
  • Provide input to IAPB, ICEVI, WHO and others as appropriate regarding the perspective of persons with low vision INITIATIVE # 3: Identify and share resources regarding best practices for persons with low vision


  • Establish low vision resource page on WBU website
  • Identify and link to already available resources related to low vision training curricula, rehabilitation services and other relevant tools from the IAPB and other appropriate websites
  • Identify and share best practices for clear print, audiovisual presentations, meeting accessibility, building and physical environment accessibility
  • Develop case studies and other tools to help dispel myths and misperceptions about abilities and needs of persons with low vision

2.5. Strategic Objective 5: Improving access to rehabilitation services by blind and partially sighted persons

2.5.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Define the rehab issues facing newly blind persons, and determine the extent to which blind persons have access to rehabilitation that meets their needs at the country level


  • To include specific questions to be answered by the beneficiaries of the rehabilitation services in various countries in the survey to be continued under initiative 2 below
  • The WBU organizations to be encouraged by follow-up strategies to ensure responses to these questions and provide other details regarding the issue in reference
  • Desk-research of available information also to be used
  • Organizations engaged in rehabilitation studies such as CBM, Sightsavers and Rehabilitation International to be contacted for procuring data and information already available with them

2.5.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Examine the observations, conclusion and recommendations contained in the Rehabilitation services survey conducted during the last quadrennial and develop a strategy to utilize this information and conduct additional research to ensure validity of findings in order to utilize it to support our advocacy efforts at all levels


  • The survey conducted during 2013-16 term to be continued with revised questionnaire
  • All WBU organizations to be encouraged to respond through follow-up strategies
  • Already available information with like-minded organizations such as World Health Organization, Sight Savers and CBM to be obtained and utilized
  • The survey report to be completed
  • Advocacy action points to improve access to rehabilitation services to be disseminated

2.5.3. INITIATIVE # 3: In conjunction with the Development committee, examine the issues related to the cross-disability approach to delivering rehabilitation, which is becoming more widely used in some countries and which may undermine the effectiveness of rehabilitation for blind and partially sighted persons

Working closely with the Development Committee, to prepare a comprehensive Position Paper on Rehabilitation, taking into account aspects such as the definition of Rehabilitation and WBU’s position on it, various approaches with particular reference to cross-disability approach, and a discussion of training skills required for rehabilitation managers

2.5.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Preparation of a template for WBU country-members to standardize dissemination of information regarding rehabilitation services in the respective countries


  • The Committee will prepare a template for WBU country-members in which information regarding rehabilitation services being offered by them as well as the contact details will be uploaded on their respective websites
  • The template will be sent to the WBU affiliates
  • The improvement in access to rehabilitation services by the blind and the partially sighted over a period of two years after the use of this template will be documented in 2019

2.5.5. INITIATIVE # 5: A face to face meeting of the committee in 2018 or early 2019


  • Request to WBU to facilitate a two-day face to face meeting of the rehabilitation committee during 2018 or early 2019
  • Necessary preparations for the meeting

2.5.6. INITIATIVE # 6: Half day workshop on rehabilitation during the 2020 general assembly of WBU


  • WBU to be requested to include a half-day session/ workshop on rehabilitation during its general assembly in 2020
  • Preparation for the workshop including planning and identifying experts etc.


“Working towards a world that is increasingly accessible to blind and partially sighted persons”

3.1. Strategic Objective 1: Improving Access to Information for blind and partially sighted persons

3.1.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Working towards worldwide ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty


  • Through the regional coordinating committee, work with regions to support ratification of the treaty at the national level
  • Establish quarterly meetings of the regional coordinating committee to monitor and support countries towards ratification
  • Regional representatives place in Dropbox regular updates on work of countries on ratification
  • Provide WIPO with suggestions for countries they should conduct meetings/workshops with stakeholders on ratifications and ensure WBU members are represented at such events
  • Regional representatives connect with other stakeholders such as libraries to work together to achieve ratification of the treaty at the national level
  • Complete, promote and extensive use of “The WBU Marrakesh Implementation Guide”
  • Regional teams receive training of the WBU Marrakesh Implementation guide and ensure this training is shared and promoted within regions as well as use of it as a lobbying/advocacy tool to governments, WBU members and other legislative bodies at the national level
  • Establish the Marrakesh Advisory Committee using worldwide experts to support ratification and implementation of the treaty
  • Hold quarterly meetings of the committee to identify work they could undertake and advise the WBU and the regional coordinating committee on ways they can support their work
  • Prepare a proposal for Trust Law to underwork on situation in identified countries to support WBU work towards ratification of the treaty in those countries
  • Identify and work together on ways to trial methods to exchange books between countries who have ratified the treaty. For example, within the ULAC region
  • Monitor and draw to the WBU attention areas that need attention that may inhibit ratification and implementation of the treaty. For example, Comments made by publishers and other stakeholders that are not in line with the provisions of the treaty

3.1.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Work collaboratively with WIPO on the Accessible Book Consortium to operationalize the treaty


  • Participate as an active member of the ABC
  • Ensure WBU has a representative at all ABC board meetings who ensures WBU is kept informed on all work of the board
  • Work with ABC board representatives from WBU International members who have representatives on ABC board to ensure the blindness sector is working together and maximizing our influence on the work of the ABC board

3.1.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Monitor organisations or individuals who are undertaking projects to operationalize the treaty


  • Collect information of any work being undertaken to operationalize the treaty. If it is appropriate, connect the appropriate regional or national member
  • Where work is being undertaken to operationalize the treaty that does not reflect provisions of the treaty or is not in the best interest of blind and partially sighted people, determine appropriate action to draw this to the attention of the organization and WBU members

3.1.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Promote Born Accessible/ Inclusive Publishing


  • Work with the Accessible Books Consortium to support its inclusive publishing objective
  • Work with World Wide Web Consortium to promote its born accessible initiatives especially its efforts to foster worldwide acceptance of the latest version of Epub 3 and its successors
  • Work with DAISY and other organizations like BookShare to promote born accessible/inclusive publishing
  • Educate publishers and members about the great advantage offered through born accessible/inclusive publishing
  • Work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the blind of the world are able to access accessible, electronic works regardless of income status

3.2. Strategic Objective 2: Promoting access to low and high technology solution for blind and partially sighted persons, including full access to consumer and household goods

3.2.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Accessibility of autonomous and self driving vehicles
(Note that this initiative to be undertaken in partnership with the Access to the Environment Working Group and Initiative # 3.3.2)

Advancements in the development and production of highly autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles has increased rapidly in recent years. As blind and partially sighted persons could come to rely heavily on these vehicles, it is vitally important that we be included early in the policy and recommendation making process to ensure that we can fully utilize these vehicles when they become available. Blind and partially sighted persons need to be a big part of the conversation and development happening on this front

  • Engage stakeholders in the auto industry who are currently developing these technologies
  • Keep abreast of the policy initiatives happening in governments to ensure that accessibility is included as a priority when standards and regulations are being developed

3.2.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Full accessibly of Microsoft OS and other Microsoft products, Apple OS and their products, and Google platforms

Despite hard work to overcome Microsoft accessibility shortcomings, there is still much to be done for accessibility in their products, including accessibility of Edge, their web browser, the default mail client, PDF access, native apps, and mobile to desktop platform integration. Work also needs to be done to promote a more usable and intuitive design in Microsoft products to make their platform more useful and accessible to screen readers.

Although Apple and Google have taken a lead in accessibility of their products, continued conversations and feedback should be provided so that their accessibility continues to be a priority.

  • Follow up with Microsoft on previous meetings and proposals to get firmer work plan and financial commitments from them
  • Work with Microsoft to influence their vision to include accessibility as a priority
  • Maintain conversations with Apple and Google on continued accessibility of their products.

3.2.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Access to consumer and household goods and services

Establish a working group to study the issues related to access to consumer and household goods and services. Items to be considered are issues related to touch screens and menus on household appliances, service kiosks, braille and tactile labeling of products (including pharmaceuticals) and access to medical devices (such as glucometers)

  • Establish a working group to develop a plan of action by the end of 2017
  • Establish a close liaison with International Standards Organization (ISO) regarding the development of standards

3.2.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Access to affordable mobile technology

Accessible mobile technology has become a primary means of accessing information. Unfortunately, this technology is not always an affordable option for many. Emphasis needs to be made on the availability of low cost, accessible mobile technology.


  • Explore the existing options of low cost accessible mobile technology
  • Approach manufacturers to explore the possibility of developing a more affordable version of accessible mobile technology
  • Explore the option of encouraging companies to offer discounts on the purchase of their technology

3.2.5. INITIATIVE # 5: Access to touch screen interfaces

Touch screen interfaces have become more prevalent in all aspects of technology. Currently there does not exist any standards that ensures accessibility of all touch screen devices and/or appliances. This creates a barrier for blind or low vision individuals in performing basic functions within their homes, places of employment and in their communities.


  • Development of a position paper that can be used to advocate for accessibility for all touch screen interfaces.
  • Work with policy makers to set accessibility standards for touch screen interfaces.

3.3. Strategic Objective 3: Promoting full access to the environment for blind and partially sighted persons including safe and independent travel and access to transportation

3.3.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Continue our advocacy efforts to ensure that our safety concerns regarding silent cars are addressed effectively


  • In March 2016, the WP.29 adopted a regulation under the 58 Agreement. The regulation requires specified classes of quiet vehicles to be equipped with a sound device. The regulation specifies the required sound characteristics of the device and the minimum level of sound to be emitted. The regulation permits but does not require the device to be active when the vehicle is stationary and active and permits the alert device to be turned off by the driver. The regulation applies to approximately 50 countries that are parties to the 58 Agreement
  • Specific activities that will be undertaken in the coming term include WBU representation on the Informal Working Group that is charged with developing recommendations for refinements to the regulation currently in force under the 58 Agreement; and WBU representation on the committee that has been constituted to develop a Global Technical Regulation

3.3.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Monitor the development of Self driving car technology with a view to ensuring that they are detectable by pedestrians and accessible for blind persons to drive
(Note that this initiative to be undertaken in partnership with the WBU Technology Committee and Initiative # 3.2.1)


  • Collation of current guidelines and policy initiatives around safety and accessibility of self-driving vehicles
  • Surveying success factors of drones
  • Engage stakeholders in the auto industry who are currently developing these technologies

3.3.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Advocate for improved access to public transport – particularly in developing countries

Still to be determined in collaboration with working group members from developing countries

  • SKYPE meeting re goals for developing countries: May 2018
  • Provide input into African Blind Forum re what’s required: November 2018
  • Circulating of policy and checklists documentation to leaders in developing countries: May 2020

3.3.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Develop a strategy to identify and address issues related to Air travel; including such issues as travel with guide dogs, airport assistance, and access to flight entertainment systems


  • Collaborate with UNESCAP and Incheon Strategy partners (other disability organizations in the Asia Pacific regions) re access to travel, as that’s the main topic of the CSO meeting in March 2017
  • Collaborate with international partners such as MIUSA International re their existing guide dog related travel documentation
  • Implementation of iBeacon Tech in airports internationally (The implementation of iBeacon Tech will benefit all embarking and debarking travellers and especially blind and low vision passengers, creating an equal footing for sighted and blind travellers alike. This integrated “smart technology” for the blind and low vision travellers can provide indoor and outdoor directions, high volume traffic areas, wait times for both security and customs, walk time to gates, physically spatial gate locations and numbers, power outlet locations, baggage claim location, transportation services, lounge access, and pertinent airport and airline alerts. Focus should include access in multiple languages)
    ◊ Find out which airports have this technology implemented already and assess how successful it has been so far
    ◊ Strategize best ways to approach other airports worldwide to get them invested in implementing this technology

3.3.5. INITIATIVE # 5: Promote accessible tourism


  • Strengthen relationship with travel entities that specialize in tourism opportunities for disabled clients
  • Develop a relationship with audio description agencies and organizations for stock-taking purposes

3.3.6. INITIATIVE # 6: Support the development and utilization of mobile apps and GPS to facilitate travel and access

Collaborate as a member of the Wayfindr Community (linked with blindness service providers in the UK) re developing of standards for mobile app developers

3.3.7. INITIATIVE # 7: Support and promote the implementation of Barrier free/ universal design with respect to the built environment, wayfinding and so forth; and develop simple guidelines re standards for crosswalks, sidewalks, etc.


  • Resource collation
  • Investigate guidelines around the new interactive, touch screen related elevator systems in place nowadays where people need to enter the destination/floor you wish to travel to on a touch screen pad, to then be informed via visual mode which elevator to take, and then one needs to navigate a bank of elevators, etc.
  • Formalize a Memorandum of Understanding with The Institute for Human Centered Design in Boston, USA, who’re working in the field of accessible architecture, and universal design

3.3.8. INITIATIVE # 8: Promotion of implementation of shared spaces position paper and continue to monitor issues related to the implementation of shared spaces


  • Promote WBU position statement, including guidelines around shared spaces at the Vision 2017 congress to be held in June 2017
  • Gather information including recommendations from other countries around their implementation of the WBU intelligence


“Supporting and enhancing our advocacy, representation and capacity strengthening efforts through raising awareness and support for our campaigns and initiatives, providing information and resources on matters important to blind and partially sighted persons and collaborating effectively with others.”

4.1. Strategic Objective 1: Developing and making available a variety of resources to our members and the public through a variety of communications channels

4.1.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Develop a communications framework to articulate what we want to communicate and how best to do that

The WBU Communications Committee aims at supporting the organization in pursuing the overall goals as described in its strategic plan 2017 – 2020 by providing appropriate communication tools to the work of the organization governing bodies and secretariat work.

The Communications Committee needs to update and improve our global communications in regard to the following priorities

  • Internal communication with members
  • External communication with other stakeholders and the wider community
  • Relationship with the media
  • Relationship and positioning with interest groups

During this mandate, special attention will be paid to social media in order to increase our presence, our influence and enhancing the contacts with other interest groups

The communication strategy should serve to improve and make more visible our institutional positioning and it should bring added value to our work at the global and regional level

It should also be clear instrument to reinforce our alliances with other stakeholders from public to private global actors

We need to ensure a global message with local impact. Think global and act locally

Activities to be undertaken

  • Identifying the principles that will guide the WBU communication strategy
  • Identifying the channels of communication
  • Including major campaigns as mobilizing communication instruments internally and externally
  • Agreeing on potential audience of the communication initiatives
  • Highlighting dates and linkages with major disability and mainstream events in order to promote the objectives of the major campaigns (Marrakesh, CRPD conclusions for Blind and Partially Sighted, Human Rights violations, Disability Assessment, etc.)

4.1.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Updating and improving the WBU website, including enhancement of the search function

The website is the central platform for all external information that WBU produces. The WBU secretariat has the editorial responsibility for WBU’s website. The website targets WBU members, UN Missions, UN Entities, NGOs, DPOs, NHRIs, donors, media and general public

Updating and improving WBU website (as it is being done) is crucial to link to quality content and generate traffic to the web, and the trilingual web versions are a must to interact worldwide

Creation of landing pages: when posting, it is much recommended to send social media traffic back to a specific landing page. The number of landing pages may be determined by the WBU communication strategy, each with a specific goal, then a social media message may be created to accompany each of these pages

Activities to be undertaken

  • Monitoring the maintenance of the website
  • Defining the visibility of political priorities in the website
  • Improving the website by the creation of landing pages
  • Updating and improving the content of the website to better align with WBU priorities (SDGs, CRPD, etc.)
  • Connecting the website with the social media traffic
  • Improving the search function

4.1.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Updating and development of WBU position statements and resource papers and develop a strategy to promote our resources and tools with members so that they know what is available and utilize them

The communications committee should plan the widest possible dissemination of policy papers and resource papers produced by the different governing bodies and expert groups of WBU. It could enhance as well as consult on these documents with a wider community of blind partially sighted people

Activities to be undertaken

  • Review of the external resources and communication papers
  • Identifying the updating needs of the existing position papers, and communicate this to WBU governing bodies in order to take a decision. This process can take place when elaborating the resource guide foreseen in the previous initiative
  • Ensuring that resource papers also comply with a full transparent policy for WBU publications
  • Producing a guide of resources of the WBU website for members

4.1.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Utilize social media to reach more audiences and extend our messaging

Social communication tools are used to relay official announcements of WBU and its members, information on WBU’s activities and other relevant information on the rights, projects, advocacy activities, etc. This communication will be done on behalf of WBU by the secretariat

Activities to be undertaken

  • Review the presence of WBU in the social media and the social media programs
  • Ensure a smooth social media communication with key partners of WBU actions
  • Produce social media toolkits to help build the capacity of our members in this area

4.1.5. INITIATIVE # 5: Develop strategies to utilize communications tools as an influencer – to support our other priorities

The communications committee identifies the following actions to enhance WBU communication tools as means of being an influencer in the disability community and the policy makers:

  • Create a sense of community for blind and partially sighted (prioritizing youth)
  • Being responsive to denounce serious violations of human rights of our community
  • Make sure that in our advocacy activities we engage and share with the content of others
  • Explore how to connect with other movements and with youth as a new way of political engagement
  • Use our communication tools to provide more added value to external partners

4.1.6. INITIATIVE # 6: Development of simple tools, using plain easily translatable language wherever possible

The political priorities of the organization need to be put in clear format for those who are not used to work with international organizations and for those who are not familiar with the blind and partially sighted movement.

Activities to be undertaken

  • WBU should continue the production of the e-bulletin, monitored by the Communications committee. The survey on the e-bulletin should be analyzed in order to implement some of the comments received
  • The production of regular press releases should continue to be a major instrument expressing the views of our movement to all stakeholders with very easy to understand information and clear priorities. It should be connected to major campaigns such as Marrakesh and to major events such as the meetings of the CRPD committee, the World day on disability, etc.
  • This initiative should aim at creating a set of easy to read and accessible infographics to be widely distributed

4.1.7. INITIATIVE # 7: Promoting a communications feedback loop with members so that communications become two-way; we receive feedback on tools, etc.

The communication strategy requires a feedback mechanism to avoid having just one-way communication. In order to do so we need to create the mechanism to ensure that the needs from WBU members are also taken through efficient internal communication. The global communication strategy of WBU should support as well national priorities and campaigns of the members.

Activities to be undertaken

  • Creating one visible e-mail address to be communicated to WBU members to receive their communication needs (support of campaigns, participation on CRPD processes, violation of rights, publications produced, etc.)
  • Creation of member’s news section that will make visible their communication needs
  • Consultation to members will be also published in the website and through other social media tools in order to get as well individual contributions to enrich the production of policy papers

4.1.8. INITIATIVE # 8: Consideration of using Wiki

The Committee will consider a first analysis of the implications and advantages of producing a Wiki

4.2. Strategic Objective 2: Developing and strengthening international partnerships and collaboration

4.2.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Fostering and enhancing existing partnerships and collaborations


  • Continue to actively participate as a member of Vision Alliance
  • Continue to be an active member of the ICEVI executive committee and to promote and advocate for EFAVI initiative
  • Participate actively on the IAPB board of Trustees and take an active role in the Prevention of Blindness Strategy
  • Work with IBSA to ensure the MOU between IBSA and WBU 2010 is enacted
  • Work closely with partners to examine the future opportunities for the IDP program.
  • Continue to participate as an active member of IDA as a member of the Governing Body and through our CRPD and SDG advocacy work

4.2.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Monitor, in particular, relationships with IDA, Vision Alliance


  • Hold Vision Alliance meeting to examine areas of mutual interest, decide on way forward for Alliance
  • Monitor the relationship with IDA – in particular the expansion of the organization; changing role of the Board; the development of major projects and how WBU best interacts in this new context

4.2.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Look for opportunities for enhanced engagement with blindness related organizations with whom we collaborate, in particular those who are not part of the Vision Alliance, such as IBSA and IGDF


  • Examine areas of potential collaboration with both IBSA and IGDF
  • Discuss opportunities to promote active living with IBSA
  • Develop sport and physical activity strategy to promote active lifestyles in cooperation with IBSA
  • Engage IGDF in Access to the Environment working group

4.2.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Identify new partnerships and develop plans of collaboration with them


  • Work with all strategic priority areas and determine where strategic partnerships will enhance the work of the WBU
  • Develop collaborative relationship with International Federation of Aging

4.3. Strategic Objective 3: Promoting and advancing the use of braille through the work of the World Braille Council

4.3.1. INITIATIVE # 1: To promote cheap refreshable Braille


  • Support field trials in the ICEVI Visionary Learning project
  • Work with WBU/ICEVI International Members to raise resources
  • Encourage competition in the accessible technology sector
  • Work with WBU Technology Committee to gain support from international technology companies

4.3.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Where practical, to convert Braille printing press budgets to refreshable Braille


  • Produce a document on the economics and demographics of access to braille for adoption at a WBC Meeting. The document will include a statement making clear that refreshable braille will not entirely replace hard copy braille; while not allowing the specialized need for paper braille to be used as an excuse for sustaining the status quo.
  • Promote WBC policy on braille to all WBU/ICEVI Member organizations

4.3.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Distribute Dolphin EasyConverter Express


  • Promote Easy Reader Express through WBU/ICEVI channels
  • Supplement the download option with ‘pen drive’ distribution

4.3.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Meeting of World Braille Council


  • Hold Council Meeting

4.3.5. INITIATIVE # 5: Establish a global braille music body


  • Hold discussions with braille music producing members (including representatives from the International Council on English Braille Music Committee)
  • Convene a meeting of braille music producing members (including representatives from the International Council on English Braille Music Committee)
  • Make representations to global music industry

4.3.6. INITIATIVE # 6: Assume responsibility for World Braille Foundation following the transfer of WBF assets to WBU


  • Examine programs currently operated by WBF and put mechanisms in place for continued operations
  • Develop initiatives that support the objectives and legacy of the World Braille Foundation for the promotion of braille literacy


“Ensuring the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the WBU”

5.1. Strategic Objective 1: In cooperation with the Regional Unions, supporting the members of the WBU to optimize their representation of blind and partially sighted persons

5.1.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Develop and implement strategies to work with members that are having difficulty fulfilling WBU membership requirements


  • Approach Regional Presidents and Table Officers to follow up with members that have not paid fees in the preceding terms
  • Determine what issues are impeding their involvement and help develop strategies/measures to resolve such issues, which may include fee relief, in conjunction with the Membership Fee Committee
  • If deemed appropriate, explore options of sharing membership or recruitment of new member organizations to ensure that blind and partially sighted persons in the concerned country are properly represented
  • Identify additional resources to support members – for example small projects with members/Officers as mentors or consultants
  • Develop guidelines and strategies for sharing membership
  • Identify countries in need or those having potential resources
  • Engage the Regions in the entire process

5.1.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Monitor membership application process to ensure that applications are dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner


  • Clarify the membership application process/sequence, as required, in response to requests
  • Have tracking mechanism/log in place to monitor process
  • Follow-up with Regional Presidents regarding applications
  • Identify applications not approved within prescribed timeframe
  • Make appropriate recommendations to resolve any problems that arise with the process

5.1.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Develop strategy to identify potential members in countries that currently are not members of the WBU


  • Identify countries which are currently not members
  • Work with Regional Presidents to develop strategy
  • Approach Regional Presidents to assess country situation with reference to current organizations of or for the blind and their level of interest in WBU
  • If no members exist in a given country, initiate steps to enlist members; engage international partners to assist
  • If interest shown, assist potential new member through application process

5.1.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Work with special members and grouped members to help them become full national members


  • Identify special members and grouped members on the basis of the membership log available with WBU
  • Contact concerned Regional Presidents
  • Establish liaison through Regional Presidents with existing special members and grouped members to assess their motivational level to become full national members
  • Identify factors which may prevent concerned special/grouped members from seeking full membership
  • Initiate remedial action, if required, with reference to special members, in particular, in accordance with WBU constitutional provisions

5.1.5. INITIATIVE # 5: Maintaining regular communications with WBU members


  • Share ongoing information about the value of membership – simple, easy to read and understand
  • Focus through quarterly E-bulletin on our priorities and work as well as success stories
  • Promote and market advocacy & human rights work
  • Inform members of new resources on website
  •  Use Social media (Twitter & Facebook) to disseminate information
  • Work in close collaboration with WBU Communications Committee

5.2. Strategic Objective 2: Overseeing WBU financial resources

5.2.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Interpretation and Review of Financial Documents


  • Interpretation and review of quarterly Financial statements
  • Review and prepare recommendation for approval of Year-end audited statements
  • Provide appropriate analysis from a governance point of view, and explanations of all financial reports to facilitate review and discussion by the Officers

5.2.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Managing the Membership Fee collection and review process


  • Collection of annual membership fees according to collection schedule
  • Receiving and evaluating membership fee appeals
  • Review status of subsidies approved in last quadrennial to assess their continued validity
  • Strengthen role of Membership Fees Committee so that it has the mandate to monitor and follow up on the collection of fees from non-paying members
  • Holding and coordinating Membership Fee Committee meetings
  • Special efforts made for implementing decisions made at the Officers’ meeting in Baltimore in November 2016 regarding payment of dues by members defaulting throughout the preceding quadrennial with the help of Regional Presidents and concerned Table Officers
  • Members experiencing genuine hardships in paying membership fees to be helped as per prevailing guidelines
  • Reminders are issued regularly to members defaulting in fee payment during the present quadrennial

5.2.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Review and development of financial policies and procedures


  • Review existing financial policies and procedures, wherever required
  • Update as per requirement and present to Officers for approval
  • Identify requirements for new financial policies and procedures, if necessary, and arrange their development and approval
  • Identify policies and procedures that require translation and uploading on WBU website

5.2.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Monitoring the financial health of WBU


  • Convene regular meetings of Finance Committee to review financial statements and compliance to budget
  • On the basis of such monitoring, identify issues relating to budget compliance and recommend corrective action, where required, to the officers
  • Ensure that unrestricted assets are maintained at or above the approved level of $100,000
  • Liaise with resource generation working group to ensure resource generation strategy is in place and implemented to generate additional resources to support WBU’s work
  • Collaborate with resource generation working group to enhance communication to platinum, diamond and gold members, in terms of valuing, acknowledging and planning for ongoing commitment of their involvement

5.3. Strategic Objective 3: Developing and implementing strategies to generate resources to support the work of the WBU

5.3.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Coordination with existing donors (including platinum, diamond and gold members) – CORE FUNDING


  • Annual meeting of WBU platinum/diamond/gold members
  • One event of visibility with main donors (e.g. side event in the COSP)
  • Contribution in kind (through staff secondment) to WBU secretariat
  • Research of new potential WBU members (p/d/g)

5.3.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Taking advantage of other funding initiatives with stakeholders in the area of disability – PROJECT FUNDING


  • Ensuring participation of WBU (and members) in funding opportunities coming from IDA program, DFID and Bridge
  • Enhancing contacts with major ODA donors (EU, OECD, UK, etc.)

5.3.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Ensuring synergies between funding and policy developments for blind and partially sighted persons – PROJECT FUNDING


  • Development a program for implementation of Marrakesh Treaty – Cooperation with WIPO and other stakeholders
  • Program for participation of blind and partially sighted organizations in UN CRPD reporting
  • DRR program for blind and partially sighted people
  • Making disability assessment appropriate for blind and partially sighted people

5.3.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Engaging with private sector – core and project funding


  • Developing a concept note on how to approach private sector funding and how to adapt WBU priorities to CSR policies (including code of conduct for agreements with private sector)
  • Mapping exercise of potential interested stakeholders
  • Establishing contacts and potential agreements

5.4. Strategic Objective 4: Undertaking a review of the WBU fee structure (Resolution 2016-2)

5.4.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Establish a working group to undertake a review of the current fee structure


  • Working group established as a result of the Officers’ planning meeting in November 2016 in Baltimore, USA
  • Convening Working Group’s face-to-face and tele-meetings, as appropriate, with the help of the WBU office
  • Framing and circulating discussion points for these meetings in advance
  • Taking follow-up action on the conclusions reached at these meetings

5.4.2. INITIATIVE # 2: The working group to examine the current fee structure, its benefits and limitations and develop recommendations for changes that will address members concerns while at the same time ensuring that current overall membership fee revenues are maintained


  • Discuss and finalize the modality of taking the Initiative forward at the first meeting of the Working Group
  • Establish a procedure for finding out position regarding membership fee structure of other international disabled people’s organizations (IDPO’s), (IDA members, for example) by way of comparison (cf. Serial 6 of the Rationale accompanying the Resolution under reference)
  • Work closely with the Membership Fees Committee, as required

5.4.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Identify any issues resulting from recommendations that might require constitutional changes


  • Dependent on outcomes of initiative 2

5.4.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Develop a communications plan related to any recommended changes


  • In stage 1 develop a preliminary report with recommendations for discussion at the Officers’ meeting in November 2017
  • In stage 2, refine those for the attention of the WBU EXCO meeting in May 2018

5.4.5. INITIATIVE # 5: Report and recommendations to be ready for Executive meeting in May 2018


  • Work with constitutional committee to prepare

5.5. Strategic Objective 5: Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the WBU operations to support its work

5.5.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Plan and implement the 10th General Assembly to be held in 2020


  • Undertake review of joint Assembly event with ICEVI and make decision regarding whether to hold the 2020 event jointly or singly
  • If decision is taken to proceed jointly with ICEVI, then update the bid process and develop an agreement for sharing of tasks, responsibilities and costs
  • Depending on decision taken re go-forward strategy:
    ◊ Develop bid process for Assembly
    ◊ Determine overall program elements for WBU Assembly as well as joint session with ICEVI
    ◊ Establish a process to assess expressions of interest and have ready all materials for the executive to make a decision at the 2018 meeting
    ◊ Oversee the establishment of necessary committees to work with the country hosting the assembly and monitor their progress
    ◊ Implement the Assembly

5.5.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Management of WBU staff and WBU office operations


  • Annual review of CEO
  • Liaison with CNIB, the landlord and from whom WBU purchases technical services
  • Provide ongoing support to CEO and other staff located in the WBU office and other sites as appropriate
  • Oversee preparation for and chairing of all officers and executive meetings of the WBU

5.5.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Managing and monitoring the Strategic Planning Process


  • Regularly communicate with table officers who have portfolio responsibilities for each strategic priority areas to ensure progress is being made. Where it is not, work with the priority leaders to correct this
  • Oversee the appointment of and feedback from WBU representatives on various committees and working groups
  • Monitor progress through each Officers meeting by providing regular status reports and make adjustments/take corrective action as required
  • Communicate progress on Strategic Plan with members through regular updates in the WBU E-bulletin and preparation of Annual reports
  • Initiatives are developed to reflect engagement of regions in the implementation of the Strategic Plan
  • Regions will develop their workplans to reflect the priorities set out in the WBU Strategic Plan

5.5.4. INITIATIVE # 4: Review and development of policies and procedures for effective operations


  • Ensure that WBU internal policies, procedures and guidelines are reviewed on a regular basis to determine relevance, appropriateness and how up-to-date they are
  • Ensure that policies relevant to effective function of the WBU governance structures are reviewed with the Officers or other governance bodies on a regular basis. Examples of such policies include the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Policy
  • Revise internal policies/procedures/guidelines as required to ensure their continued relevance and appropriateness
  • Identify gaps where policies/procedures/guidelines are needed and assign for development
  • When papers are finalized and approved, ensure they are translated and made easily accessible to members

5.6. Strategic Objective 6: Developing and implementing a leadership program for future WBU leaders
5.6.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Develop training opportunities for future leaders including linkages to university, distance programs, a face to face workshop during quadrennial


  • Investigate opportunities to partner with universities and distance programs to provide training materials to WBU members
  • Develop a face to face workshop to be held at Executive Committee or quadrennial for WBU leaders to take back to their own Regions to present to emerging leaders
  • Develop a toolkit for WBU members to use within their regions to promote leadership development
  • Develop a succession plan

5.6.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Ensure linkage to women’s and youth committees to ensure their inclusion in all leadership development initiatives

Work with WBU women’s committee to ensure that the youth perspective is represented through a common membership

5.7. Strategic Objective 7: Recruitment of a new CEO following the retirement of the current CEO by mid-2018

5.7.1. INITIATIVE # 1: Establish recruitment process for engaging a new CEO


  • Establish CEO search committee
  • Review and revise (as needed) CEO requirements and position description
  • Articulate candidate requirements and attributes to be sought
  • Conduct international search for CEO
  • Establish candidate review and interview process

5.7.2. INITIATIVE # 2: Engage and induct the new CEO


  • Negotiate an offer to new CEO
  • Assist with relocation arrangements as required and appropriate
  • Establish a small transition committee (4 person, max) to assist with transition to new CEO and support new CEO in induction
  • Develop transition plan from current CEO to new CEO
  • Develop induction program for new CEO

5.7.3. INITIATIVE # 3: Establish a support and monitoring process to facilitate successful implantation of the new CEO


  • Establish a mechanism to provide ongoing support and mentoring to new CEO
  • Develop a formal monitoring process to monitor progress, identify issues at earliest possible moment (3 and 6 month formal performance review, then semi-annual or annual as required
  • Identify professional development opportunities

WBU WORKPLAN 2017-2020 (word)

WBU WORKPLAN 2017-2020 (pdf)

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