The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization representing the estimated 285 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. WBU members are organizations of and for the blind in some 190 countries and international organizations working in the field of vision impairment. WBU conducts its work through six regions. These are: Africa, Asia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America & the Caribbean. The World Blind Union is governed by an Officers Board composed of six internationally elected Officers and the six regional presidents as well as an executive committee. The WBU has its administrative office located in Toronto, ON Canada, and currently has three staff members. The WBU is a non-political, non-religious, non-governmental and non-profit-making organization. In order to raise funds for their work, the World Blind Union has registered as a charity under Revenue Canada Agency, registration number 855471587 RR0001.
The vision of the World Blind Union is a global community where people who are blind or partially sighted are empowered to participate on an equal basis in any aspect of life they choose.
The purpose of the World Blind Union is as a worldwide movement of blind and partially sighted people acting on their own behalf to make the world a better, safer place for all blind and partially sighted individuals. The WBU wants to eliminate prejudice towards blind and disabled people, promote belief in the proven abilities of blind people and achieve full participation in society. These goals are worked on through the committees and working groups set up to deal with specific issues like technology and mobility & transportation. There are also special interests groups that deal with the specifi concerns of blind women, elderly people, youth, children and those with low vision.
There is a WBU constitution that can be accessed on the WBU website that spells out the conditions of membership and the benefits and obligations of the member countries and the national blindness organizations that represent the member countries.
The hallmarks of WBU are openness and democracy. All countries fulfilling the conditions laid down in the WBU Constitution are welcomed as members with the right to express their opinions and points of view freely and without fear of recrimination. WBU has consultative status within the UN Agencies and ECOSOC.
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