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About WBU


The World Blind Union (WBU) is the internationally recognized organization, representing the 253 million blind and partially sighted persons in 190 member countries. We are the voice of the blind, speaking to governments and international bodies on issues concerning blindness and low vision in conjunction with our members. 

WBU brings together all the major national and international organizations of blind persons and those organizations providing services to people with low vision to work on the issues affecting the quality of life for blind people. Globally, we are divided into six regions, with each region having its own President and volunteer executive team to assist the needs of the local members. A listing of our global members and regional offices can be accessed in the 'Contact Us​' section of this website. 

If you are with an organization that serves blind or partially sighted people in your country and you wish to join the WBU, please review the membership categories, criteria and application process listed on this website. 

Even if you are not a member but are just a curious or concerned citizen, you can learn more a​bout our work and committees through this website.

You can also download our own resource paper: WBU - International Voice of the Blind.docWBU - International Voice of the Blind

Our Vision 

We work within a pyramid vision structure which reflects our Vision of what we would ultimately hope to achieve in the long term, as well as our Vision for this strategic planning cycle which is four years.

Our long term, twenty-year Vision is: 

"A world in which we, as blind or partially sighted people, can participate fully in any aspect of life we choose."
Our short term, four-year Vision, has four ladders that together will move us towards the realization of our long-term vision.  These four Vision ladders are:
  1. That 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

The Vision Alliance ​​
is the coalition of three international organizations whose primary focus is blindness and the related issues associated with it: prevention of blindness, education of blind people, and access to society for blind people via training and rehabilitation. 
The World Blind Union is a member of the Vision Alliance along with IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness) and the ICEVI (International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment). We work together as a coalition to advance the standards of people who are blind and partially sighted and to educate others how to prevent blindness.

International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) is a global association of individuals and organizations that promotes equal access to appropriate education for all children and youth with visual impairment so that they may achieve their full potential.

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is an alliance of civil society organizations, corporate and professional bodies promoting eye health through advocacy, knowledge and partnerships. IAPB's mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment by bringing together governments and non-governmental agencies to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of sustainable national eye care programs. IAPB promotes VISION 2020, its joint initiative with the World Health Organization.

Vision 2020 - The Right to Sight​ is a global initiative of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the World Health Organization (WHO), with a coalition of international Non-Governmental Organizations. The mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness by the year 2020 by facilitating the planning, development and implementation of sustainable national eye care programs.

Contact us​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

World Blind Union Head Office
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4G3E8

Telephone: 1-416-486-9698

Fax: 1-416-486-8107

E-mail: info (@)

Twitter: @BlindUnion​

Facebook: BlindUnion


WBU Staff: emails provided are spelled out to prevent them from being captured by automated systems to send us spam.

  • ​President: Dr. Fredric Schroeder; president (@)
  • Chief Executive Officer:  Mr. José Viera; Jose.viera (@)
  • Communications Officer: Terry Mutuku;  terry.mutuku (@)​
  • Administrative Assistant: Ianina Rodriguez;  ianina.rodriguez (@)
  • Human Rights Officer: Jessica Kashia Jacobie; Jessica.Jacobie (@)   
  • Program Officer, Accessibility in Smart Cities Initiative: Hannes Lagrelius; Hannes.Lagrelius (@)
  • Global Accessibility Advisor: Benjamin Dard; Benjamin.Dard (@)​​​