The World Blind Union was formed in 1984 through the Union of the International Federation of the Blind (IFB) and the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind (WCWB). The first General Assembly, the Founding Assembly of WBU, was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26 October 1984. Since then, another eight subsequent General Assemblies took place every four years in Madrid 1988, Cairo 1992, Toronto 1996, Melbourne 2000, Cape Town 2004, Geneva 2008, Bangkok 2012, and Orlando 2016.
The WBU is divided into six regions: Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, and Asia Pacific. At its beginning 60 countries were registered as WBU members, but the number rose to approximately 190 during the following 30 years. The use of three world languages--English, French, and Spanish--were adopted facilitating an efficient global communication among all members. Strengthening the activities of its six regional unions, WBU quickly became a powerful internationally recognized voice in the worldwide disability movement.
Through the leadership of the WBU and its constitution, one of its achievements has been to provide a forum where blind and partially sighted persons established the right to speak for themselves. Eliminating prejudice, promoting belief in the proven abilities of blind and partially sighted people, as well as achieving full participation and equality in society, involves three of the main issues of WBU’s goals and objectives.
The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization representing the estimated 285 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted.
We are a worldwide community of blind and partially sighted persons that is inclusive, assertive and resourceful.
We have four Vision Ladders that together will move us towards the realization of our long term vision. These four Vision Ladders are:
1. That the WBU is recognized as the authentic voice representing blind and partially sighted persons at the international level
2. That our members at all levels have the capacity and capability to deliver their programs
3. That Blind and partially Sighted Persons live in a world that is increasingly accessible to us
4. That the WBU is recognized as an international source of information in matters related to vision impairment
We are the global organization representing the 285 million people worldwide who are blind and partially sighted. We represent visually impaired people at the United nations and UN agencies.
That people who are blind or partially sighted can participate fully in any aspect of life we choose