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  • Jumat, 03 Oktober 2014


    As we celebrate White Cane Day on October 15th, the World Bind Union (WBU), representing some 285 Million blind and partially sighted persons worldwide, welcomes new designs and technologies that will shape cities, as many of these, such as accessible GPS devices have made independent travel a reality for many blind and partially sighted persons. However, the technological and design changes that can improve mobility and independence for blind people also may impose barriers and even dangers, if not planned and designed in such a way that they are inclusive of our needs to share the same spaces with fellow citizens.
    Today the ability to travel safely and independently is a critical issue in our society. We all want to get to our destinations in the safest and quickest way possible. This is no different for persons who are blind or partially sighted. In fact, access to affordable, accessible transportation is one of the major barriers faced by blind and partially sighted persons, affecting their ability to access education, employment and participate fully in the community.
    The World Blind Union closely follows developments in transportation access and design. At a recent international transportation forum that they attended, the WBU team was very interested in the technological innovations discussed. It may come to a point when blind people can no longer rely solely on white canes to navigate streets safely in a society that is moving towards shared spaces where pedestrians, cyclists and motorists all move about in the same spaces. Technology is even moving to driverless cars and driving devices that integrate electronic queues into manipulating traffic signals. Will the technology wizards who design these new devices take the needs of those who cannot see visual signals into consideration when designing for movement through shared space?
    It is critical that the World Blind Union and our members are involved in these processes so that the needs of blind and partially sighted persons are not forgotten. Indeed, we are presently dealing with governments on the silent/hybrid car issue. Silent or quiet cars run on electric or battery power and emit little or no sound when stopped at intersections or while driving at lower speeds. These cars pose a serious safety hazard to blind and partially sighted persons who rely on vehicular sound to make decisions about when it is safe to cross roads. If the needs of blind and partially sighted persons had been considered when first designing these cars, then the WBU would not have to advocate for their redesign now that they are already on the market and posing real traffic hazards to blind travelers.
    The development of accessible GPS apps for smartphones has provided a huge boost for independent travel for blind persons. However, we will need to know what apps for GPS navigation are reliable, accessible and affordable. Before these apps are released to the market, blind and visually impaired people will need to test them and provide feedback to the designers and engineers to ensure that assumptions are not made in terms of usability for blind people.
    The white cane, acknowledged as a symbol representing blindness and mobility, is still the most used orientation aid around the world. Even the simple white cane is undergoing changes as blind pedestrians can now add technology that uses vibrations to let the person know how close they are to an object. These canes will not be the reality for the majority of blind people however; as 90% of all blind live in developing nations, and access to such technology is a long way off. Indeed, many blind people in these nations cannot afford a basic white cane to navigate their environment.
    As countries and cities in all parts of the world build infrastructure, and urban areas expand, blind people will need to have input to make sure the design is inclusive from the outset, and that accessibility is not an afterthought.
    While universal design features are clearly called for in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, attention must be given at every stage of conception and design of new products and features to ensure that the principles of universal and inclusive design are maintained.
    The World Blind Union calls upon governments, regulators, designers and manufacturers to establish and implement standards that will ensure universal access for all persons with disabilities. We further call upon technical engineers to consult with the WBU, or our members and partners, in order to discuss the implications of proposed design change so that accessibility issues that may be identified in the test phase, can be dealt with before mass manufacturing of new devices.
    We encourage our members and other organizations that serve disabled people to attend local transportation forums and city planning meetings to ensure your accessibility needs are addressed as part of your country’s transportation design and services. Call your ministry of transportation to find out when these meetings take place.
    The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization representing the estimated 285 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members consist of organizations run by blind people advocating on their own behalf, and organizations that serve the blind, in over 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment.
    For further information contact: World Blind Union Marianne McQuillan Manager, Communications Marianne.mcquillan@wbuoffice.org

    Rabu, 09 Juli 2014

    EAST WIND No. 14

    EAST WIND No. 14 Official Newsletter of the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific Please visit the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific website! www.wbuap.org Contents of this issue: Greetings from the Editorial Team To all Delegates, Honorary Life Members and Friends of the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific (WBUAP): News From the WBUAP Board & Policy Council Call for Proposals – Presentation at Youth Forum of the WBUAP Mid- Term Regional General Assembly 2014 The 12th World Blind Union Asia-Pacific massage seminar 5-7 May 2014, Golden Tulip Sovereign Hotel, Bangkok The 2nd Thailand International Blind Music Festival The 19th National Braille Reading and Writing Contest, the 1st International Braille Reading and Writing Contest and the 6th Marathon Braille Reading Contest Review of the Communication Tools of the WBUAP: Outcome of a Brainstorming Meeting Innovative RSB project steals the limelight RSB shares knowledge with job-readiness program RSB develops adaptive technology training program Contact details Greetings from the Editorial Team This issue of East Wind contains news from around the World Blind Union Asia-Pacific (WBUAP) Region in particular news from the WBUAP Board and Policy Council and information on the forthcoming WBUAP Mid-Term General Assembly. In addition, we have made some recommendations to improve communication tools in the region. Do let us know what you feel about our ideas. We like to hear from you. Feel free to contact anyone of us to share your comments and feedback. Our contact information can be found at the end of this publication. Happy reading. Editorial Team ****** To all Delegates, Honorary Life Members and Friends of the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific (WBUAP): Dear All, ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL Greetings to you from your Board and Policy Council (BPC), and we hope this issue finds you in good health and high spirits. Here is some information we want to share with you, and some requests for which we are asking for your co- operation: Country Reports: One of the main highlights of the Mid-Term Regional Assembly is the presentation of Country Reports. Realising this, your BPC will make more time available for questions and answers. Please start preparing your reports but make them brief and informative on your achievements, successes and challenges. Send your reports in electronic format to the Secretary General at least 60 days before the Assembly for circulation. Revision of the Constitution: As members were informed last year, your BPC is revising the Constitution of the WBUAP and will be presenting it at the MRGA. We are inviting you to join in the exercise by submitting your amendments and suggestions to reach the Secretary General by the end of July. We will collate your amendments into one document to be circulated 45 days before the Assembly. You can access the Constitution on the WBUAP website. The Silent Auction: In an effort to raise some funds for WBUAP to carry out more activities, Dr. Kevin Murfitt, Treasurer and Chair of the Committee on Resource Generation, will be organising a Silent Auction during the Gala Dinner at the MRGA. He is requesting all delegates and members to bring along items of cultural significance (useful or decorative) and donate them to WBUAP. Someone at the auction table will record your bid, and the highest bidder will get the item at the cut-off time. Do help to make this event a success. If you have ideas to help WBUAP get more funds, do please pass them on to us. Delegates' Information Update: It will be very much appreciated if you will kindly update the information of your delegates and have it sent to the Secretary General without delay. The details needed are: Names of delegates, designation, organisations they belong to, address, phone numbers and emails. Closing Date for Receiving Proposals and Resolutions: All proposals and resolutions to be tabled at the MRGA should reach the Secretary General at least 60 days before the MRGA. We appeal to you to send them to us before mid- September. Please help to circulate this information to as many persons as possible, and encourage them to attend the MRGA - our great event of the year. Thank you. With best wishes, (Ivan Ho Tuck Choy), Secretary General, World Blind Union-Asia Pacific ****** News From the WBUAP Board & Policy Council Hello Everyone, Your Board and Policy Council met in Bangkok from 3 - 4 May 2014, and among some of the matters discussed and decisions made were the following: 1. The Mid-Term Regional General Assembly: As advised in the May Circular, the Hong Kong Blind Union is the host and the Assembly will run from 21 - 24 November 2014 at the Cyberport 3 convention site. The Youth and Women's Fora will take place on the afternoon of 21 November, and the Welcome Reception in the evening. The business sessions of the mid-term regional assembly (MRGA) will begin on 22 November, to be followed by the various informative and useful workshops, and, of course, the Gala Dinner. Remember, Hong Kong is a very busy port, so do not miss the boat! Register immediately by visiting the website www.wbuapga 2014.org or email to enquiry@wbuapga2014.org The organisers are also looking to sponsor 30 youths with innovative ideas for projects; so do not miss the opportunity. Please read the article on the WBUAP Mid Term General Assembly for more information. For those who are preparing their country reports, please go to http://wbuap.org/index/archives/749 to access the template. 2. Seeing is Believing (SIB) Project: The Committee on Employment and Economic Empowerment (CEEE), headed by Mr. Andrew Daly, made an application through the Royal Society for the Blind for $180,000 from the Seeing is Believing Fund of Standard Chartered Bank. They were only successful in securing a $60,000 grant for a pilot project to run an Equipment Loan Scheme. After some hard decisions, Malaysia was chosen to run the pilot project. If this should prove successful, StanChart has indicated it could consider giving another $120,000 to start similar projects in Thailand and Vietnam. Arising from this Project, the National Council for the Blind, Malaysia (NCBM) running the SIB Project, organised a Job Preparedness Workshop from 24 - 26 June 2014. It was conducted by Mr. Brian Dibbins, an employment consultant of RSB with long experience in this field. Due to budgetary constraints, NCBM was only able to invite some participants from the ASEAN countries. 3. Support for NVDA: The Committee on ICT and Assistive Technologies, under the Chair of Mr. Neil Jarvis, expressed its appreciation to the staff of RSB and Dr. Frances Gentle for having written the training matterial on the Non-Visual Desktop Application (NVDA) as a superb example of a quality training resource. CICTAT hoped this resource material could be translated into other languages so that more blind people in this region will have access to ICT. NVDA is free and open-source screen reading software developed by NV-'access, a not-for-profit organisation run by Mr. Michael Curran and Mr. James Teh of Australia. NVDA is endorsed by WBU which, at its 8th General Assembly in 2012, collected over $40,000 and donated to NV-'access to make PowerPoint accessible using this software. This task has been completed and it is working very satisfactorily. To further support the work of NV-'access, the Nippon Foundation is this year sponsoring the employment of an administrator to allow the two software developers to concentrate on their research work. Also, the Thailand Association of the Blind at their April National Convention, donated $22,000 to NV-‘access to support its effort in continuing to make this software free and open-source. Is your organisation promoting the use of NVDA or are you still spending huge sums of money to purchase expensive screen-reader software? For more information, read the article on this subject appearing elsewhere in the East Wind or contact Mr. Andrew Daly at adaly@rsb.org.au concerning the resource material. 4. Membership Matters: As a result of several visits to Beijing and Macau by Mr. Chong Chan-Yau, the President of HKBU, The Macau organisation of the Blind has been admitted into WBU with one delegate. This was made possible when the China Association of the Blind (CAB), under the leadership of Mr. Li Weihong, its President, agreed to give up another of its remaining six votes. The other four votes were previously given to Hong Kong and Taiwan. We welcome Mr. Albert Cheong, President, and members of the Macau People with Visually Impaired Right Promotion Association (MPVIPA) into the fold of WBU and WBUAP. Let us get to know more about your organisation, and let us work together for the progress of the blind and partially sighted in the region. In the meantime, Dr. Kevin Murfitt has reported that Tonga and Vanuatu have applied to WBU for membership, Kiribati is being encouraged to follow suit, and Samoa is being helped to re- activate their membership. Mr. Kua Cheng Hock, a former president of WBUAP, is also helping to sort out the membership fee of Brunei. Attempts are being made to visit North Korea to encourage the blind people there to form an organisation. 5. Sharing Joy with Neighbouring Countries: The Thailand Association of the Blind (TAB) has been very active in the region this year. In January they hosted the 1st Thailand International English Reading Competition at the side-lines of their 19th National Reading Competition. The participating countries were Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and TAB sponsored each contingent of 4 contestants and an escort, including their airfares. In April, TAB again organised the 2nd ASEAN Community Blind Forum for the youths to exchange ideas. They sponsored 15 participants from 6 countries - Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia to the event. TAB also organised a music festival in early January and they received 105 applications. Due to the political unrest in the country, TAB was only able to accept 10 bands, but they hoped to increase the participation next year. It is the vision of Mr. Torpong Selanon, President of TAB, that the music festival should eventually encourage blind singers and musicians to turn their hobbies into enterprises. 6. Will This Dream Ever Come True: A Brainstorming Workshop was organised by the Editorial Board to review the present communication tools used by the Region, particularly with the WBUAP Website which was set up with the financial assistance from Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). The Workshop was held in Kuala Lumpur from 3 - 4 March 2014 and was funded by the DANIDA Project. Some of the recommendations put forward were: a) That the WBUAP Website be re- designed to provide clear text-based information accessible by blind and partially sighted users, with complementary graphic contents for sighted users. To this end, the tabs to include new features, such as: About Us, Our Stories, Activities and Programmes in the Region, Tourism and Travel in the Region, Funding Applications, Individual Scholarships, Writing Proposals, etc. b) Introduce a mobile version of the WBUAP Website that can be accessed via mobile devices, such as smart phones which are becoming more common these days. c) Set up an Internet Radio channel to be integrated into the WBUAP Website as a communication tool across the Region. Information can be streamed live or pre-recorded from each country via the Internet for free or via a paid server on a rotation basis. Information can be uploaded onto the Internet Radio with country-specific contents in local languages using free software. Each country will be encouraged to take turns to produce informative and relevant programmes according to guidelines to be drawn up. It is hoped that with the introduction of the Internet Radio station, every country will have the opportunity to showcase their services, tell their success stories, conduct interviews with leaders and promising youths, promote their cultures and music. If this dream can be realised, it will open doors to many possibilities - training on broadcasting, interest in journalism, music promotion and audio description of interesting tourist spots in each other's country. Of course, there are great hurdles to overcome, but we must be brave to dream big to move forward. What are your thoughts on this Internet Radio proposition? 7. A New DANIDA Project: Phase two of the three-year Project which was begun in 2011 with Laos and Mongolia had ended in December 2013. With some money left over for minor activities, known as the No-Cost Extension Fund, a meeting was convened in Bangkok from 21 - 23 February to draft an application of about $3 million for the third phase of the Capacity Building of Organisations of the Blind and Partially Sighted in the Developing Countries of the WBUAP Region. As recommended by WBUAP, Myanmar will be included as the third country apart from Mongolia and Laos. Present at the meeting were representatives from Myanmar, Mongolia, Laos, Denmark and WBUAP. The application requires a huge volume of documentation which must go through the Disabled People's Organisation in Denmark (which the Danish Association of the Blind is a member), and be assessed by external consultants. If everything goes according to plan, the application will then go to DANIDA and the result should be known around September 2014. Prepared by: (Ivan Ho Tuck Choy), Secretary General, WBUAP. ****** Call for Proposals – Presentation at Youth Forum of the WBUAP Mid-Term Regional General Assembly 2014 The Organizing Committee of the WBUAP Mid-Term Regional General Assembly 2014 is inviting vision impaired young people in the Asia Pacific region to attend and submit innovative proposals for presentation at the Youth Forum. The Forum will be held on 21 November 2014 to mark the beginning of the General Assembly. We are pleased to invite Ms Sabriye Tenberken, founder of a Training Centre for blind people in Tibet and Braille Without Borders to share with us her extraordinary personal experience. Moreover, there will be presentations of outstanding projects proposed by vision impaired young people and a roundtable discussion to brainstorm recommendations to WBUAP and governments in the region for promoting equal opportunity and the building of an inclusive society. This is a great opportunity for young people with vision impairment in the region to exchange opinions and share their innovative ideas and dreams. It also serves as a platform to link up the projects with the resources required as potential funders will be invited to attend the event. Writers of 30 outstanding proposals will be sponsored to participate in the General Assembly. Deadline for submission is 31 July 2014. For further information or enquiries, please feel free to contact Ms. Ashley Wong at enquiry@wbuapga2014.org or visit http://www.wbuapga2014.org/en_news_details.php?id=6 ****** The 12th World Blind Union Asia-Pacific massage seminar 5-7 May 2014, Golden Tulip Sovereign Hotel, Bangkok Bangkok has built up its profile in hosting international meetings for the blind for the second time in two years. In November 2012, it successfully hosted the 8th General Assembly of the World Blind Union and the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment Conference (WBU-ICEVI 2012), attracting more than 1,000 delegates hosted by Thailand Association of the Blind led by senator Monthian Buntan. During 5-7 May, 2014, it contributed again to the meeting of the World Blind Union Asia-Pacific by hosting the 12th World Blind Union Asia-Pacific massage seminar. Held under the theme “Medical Massage for the Blind”, the aim of the seminar was to promote massage among the blind as a sustainable profession for therapy and treatment, to promote traditional Thai massage internationally and exchange knowledge about massage among the blind from Asia-Pacific countries as a part of a contribution to better quality of life for the blind. Hosted by the Foundation for the Employment Promotion of the Blind and co-hosted by Thailand Association of the Blind, the event was attended by around 300 vision impaired persons involved in massage from Asia-Pacific countries like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. This was the first time that participants from India attended this seminar. The seminar comprised of the dissemination of academic knowledge exchanges and research in massage therapy, massage business models and treatment of physical disease by massage, and exhibitions on massage. To give the seminar a touch of real life, massage demonstrations by massage therapists from Thailand, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan in the treatment of specific areas of the body, such as shoulder, joint, neck, arm, spine were on offer as a means to widen knowledge base about massage among interested participants. One key element that made this seminar a real success was a troupe of volunteers from a number of volunteer organizations in Thailand. They helped the blind delegates throughout the seminar. The volunteers assisted delegates from Bangkok International Airport and Don Muang airport, and around the accommodation and seminar venue. They accompanied the blind to site visits and around the venue. A manual on how to work efficiently with the blind was produced and published for the volunteers to study so that they could assist the delegates effectively. Mr. Pecharat Techavachara, President of the Foundation for the Employment Promotion of the Blind and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee of the 12th WBUAP Massage Seminar, said that, apart from the spirit of volunteers in Thailand, this seminar became possible because of the full support from relevant government agencies. They were the National Office for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine under the Ministry of Public Health and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). Thailand was a core and key body in establishing the World Blind Union Asia-Pacific (WBUAP) under the World Blind Union, whose mission is to raise the awareness on the capabilities of the blind and to advance their well- being. Thailand was the host of the first General Assembly of the World Blind Union Asia-Pacific in 2001 where the constitution of the organization was drafted. It is also a country famed internationally for traditional Thai massage, which is found in spa treatment services offered by leading hotels in all major cities. Massage is also a common profession of the blind in Thailand who need to take the test on technical know-how and practical exercises to be certified for the job by the Ministry of Public Health. ****** The Second Thailand International Blind Music Festival Following the first Thailand International Blind Music Festival held in 2012, Thailand Association of the Blind held the second Thailand International Blind Music Festival under the theme “Breathing in the Dark”. The event was held between 14-15 December 2013 and 14 February 2014. During 14-15 December 2013, the event was held in the Santichaiprakarn Park in Bangkok whereas the event on 14 February 2014 was held in Chiang Mai province, located in the northern part of the country. Various blind musicians and singers participated in the event, both from Thailand and abroad. The international bands taking part were: Sebastiao Antunes from Portugal; Fortissimo from Indonesia; Phalung Chai from Lao and AYDD Show from Cambodia. Besides, there were Thai musicians and singers such as the Ionion, CMBLIND BAND (a band from Chiang Mai School for the Blind), Lampang Blind Music and 555. At the festival, apart from the concert, there were also booths demonstrating various activities of blind people such as coffee-making, Thai blind massage and fortune telling. The event drew attention from the general public. We are looking forward to holding the 3rd Thailand International Blind Music Festival which will show to the public that we can create friendships without borders through music. ****** The 19th National Braille Reading and Writing Contest, the first International Braille Reading and Writing Contest and the sixth Marathon Braille Reading Contest Between 17-19 January 2014, the Thailand Association of the Blind together with the Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University held the 19th National Braille Reading and Writing Contest, the first International Braille Reading and Writing Contest and the sixth Marathon Braille Reading Contest at the campus of Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University. The event started with the 19th National Braille Reading and Writing Contest on 17 January 2014. There were 200 contestants from around the country, both students and blind adults. There were individual reading contests, team reading and writing contests. The winners of every contest received a plaque from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The aim of this contest was to encourage blind people to continually practice reading and writing Braille. The first International Braille Reading and Writing Contest was held on 18 January 2014. In this first year, there were 25 contestants from four countries; namely, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand. There were individual reading and writing contests for those under 25 years and those who are above 25 years old. Contestants from all four countries performed excellently and were able to win in either the reading or writing contests. The marathon Braille reading contest took place following the international Braille reading and writing contest in the afternoon of 18 January. The winner of this year’s marathon Braille reading contest was a young lady called Arphorn Chanthila who was able to read Braille for 38 hours! ****** Review of the Communication Tools of the WBUAP: Outcome of a Brainstorming Meeting WBUAP Editorial Board As part of the capacity building of organisations of the blind and vision impaired (BVI) in developing countries of the World Blind Union Asia-Pacific (WBUAP) Region project, the WBUAP Editorial Board (EB) met on 3 and 4 March 2014 at the offices of the National Council for the Blind, Malaysia to review the current methods of communication used by the WBUAP and to suggest better ways in which information about the WBUAP’s activities and other blindness-related material can be shared across the region. This brainstorming meeting was financially supported by the Danish Association of the Blind (DAB), and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), to whom the EB express deep gratitude. At the meeting, the WBUAP Secretary General and the members of the EB reviewed the region’s current communication tools and developed recommendations to improve the sharing of information for BVI people, agencies for the blind and other stakeholders interested in the work of the WBUAP. The following recommendations were made, which are summarised below. The WBUAP Website The EB believes that the WBUAP website is a key communication tool, but recommends that its content be updated and its structure changed so that it will appeal more widely to BVI people in the Asia-Pacific region, blindness sector organisations, donors, other sponsors and stakeholders and national and regional government representatives. In order to attract users to the website, its content needs to be relevant and timely, promoting current events and information, and highlighting the work of the WBUAP and its members. The EB proposed that the website be redesigned so that content can be more easily found, and to ensure that it complies with WCAG2 guidelines for web accessibility. Ideas proposed for new links and content included: • About us; • Our stories; • Programs and activities happening in the region; • Tourism and travel in the region; • Funding Applications, submissions, individual scholarships, writing proposals and other opportunities; • Support services and Toolkits; • Links to the websites of member organisations to form regional directory; • Technology campaigns, services and projects; • Employment-incorporating the WBUAP employment portal • WBU- updates; • Publications; • Donate button; • Radio Listen button; • Social Media sharing buttons. Country Information Liaison Officers and WBUAP Editor The EB recommends that these positions be created in order to source relevant information for the website and other WBUAP publications, and to manage the website’s content and structure. The EB recommends that a Country Information Liaison Officer (CILO) be appointed in each WBUAP member country, on a voluntary basis, or with some financial support to reimburse them for the costs of carrying out their role. In relation to the WBUAP website, it is recommended that each CILO be responsible for collecting relevant information from their country to be uploaded on to the WBUAP website, and to translate and distribute information from the website in to the language of their country so it can be made available to more users. It is proposed that the CILO acts as a link between their country and the WBUAP, giving feedback regarding the website content. The EB recommends the appointment of a WBUAP Editor who would be responsible for maintaining and promoting the WBUAP website, and uploading content sourced by the CILOs, as well as reporting to the WBUAP Board and Policy Council regarding the website. The WBUAP recommends that some payment be offered to the holder of this position. East Wind Although the EB recommended that the region’s website become its main communication medium, it was proposed that East Wind remain, with its format changing to a smaller newsletter which would be redesigned as a publication to promote the work of the WBUAP, and as a marketing and sponsorship tool for its activities. The EB recommended that East Wind be published three times each year, and be compiled by the WBUAP Editor, in collaboration with the EB. Its content would comprise a snapshot of current WBUAP website content, and highlight the most interesting developments and projects. East Wind would be designed to appeal to an audience outside the blindness sector, including donors, governments and NGOs. The newsletter would also be promoted to health and development workers, who can disseminate its contents to BVI people in remote communities, or who have no access to the website or material in other formats. Radio Stream The EB has recommended a radio stream to provide audio programs from the WBUAP website. It is proposed that the CILOs coordinate the preparation of programs from their country’s website content, which can be broadcast over the radio stream in their own language. Each country’s radio programs can also be made available by the CILO in formats such as CD, or local radio broadcast for BVI people without access to the internet. The EB has submitted these recommendations for approval by the WBUAP Board and Policy Council and to the WBUAP Capacity-Building project donors. In proposing these changes, we hope that the communication mediums in the WBUAP region becomes more relevant to BVIs and other stakeholders. We also hope that, while trying to use the WBUAP website as our main communication tool, BVIs and others without internet access will also be able to stay informed about WBUAP activities. The EB will report back to readers of East Wind with further developments to this project. ****** Innovative RSB project steals the limelight The Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) on behalf of the World Blind Union Asia-Pacific Committee on Employment, Economic and Empowerment (WBUAP CEEE) has secured funding for a landmark scheme that will change the lives for the people of Malaysia who are blind or vision impaired and struggling with employment. The WBUAP CEEE was successful in receiving a grant from the Seeing is Believing Innovation fund for their Malaysian Adaptive Equipment Loan Scheme proposal after identifying a need for people who are blind or vision impaired in the Asia Pacific region the chance to access equipment that will help them in obtaining and retaining employment. “By developing an adaptive technology loan pool, people who are blind or vision impaired will be provided with the opportunity to learn skills and then demonstrate that ability to future employers, ultimately benefiting them not only in a financial, but also a social sense,” says RSB Executive Director and WBUAP CEEE chairman, Andrew Daly. “We identified that people who are blind or vision impaired in many Asia Pacific countries are prevented from employment due to the cost of accessing specialist adaptive technology like electronic magnifiers, Braille PDA’s and computer-screen magnification,” explains Andrew of the project that will be first rolled out in Malaysia. By enabling people to become “job ready” and exposing them to equipment training and loans and then subsequent work experience and trials, chances for securing meaningful and sustainable employment are greatly increased, adds Andrew. “We have seen the benefits of such a system here at the RSB through RSB Employment Services who work closely with the RSB Adaptive Technology Centre to assist people who are blind or vision impaired in all manners of gaining and retaining employment.” The landmark project aims to begin rollout in the latter half of 2014 in Malaysia and based on a successful outcome, a rollout in other areas of the Asia Pacific region where countries are struggling to place people who are blind or vision impaired in employment will also be targeted. ****** RSB shares knowledge with job-readiness program Continuing its vision to help people who are blind or vision impaired in the WBUAP Region find sustainable employment, the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) on behalf of the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific Committee on Employment & Economic Empowerment (CEEE), ON 24 - 26 June, sent an employment consultant to Malaysia to conduct a job-readiness program. Brian Dibbins conducted an intensive three-day workshop for employment personnel in Malaysia & from some ASEAN countries to equip them with the necessary skills they would need to help increase the rate of employment for their clients. "The aim of my trip," says Brian "is to make sure that the participants in the Job-Readiness Program are prepared and confident to be able to conduct similar workshops for their blind and vision-impaired clients". "This unique program," he went on to say "was designed and adapted from the practices that the RSB Employment Services use to place BVI's in meaningful and sustainable employment." "We covered techniques for effectively delivering a program for job search to small groups, as well as various placement activities such as skills assessment, identifying appropriate support services and developing action plans that will lead to employment." The invaluable hands-on training program was run in conjunction with the Malaysian Adaptive Equipment Loan Scheme project, recently secured by the RSB on behalf of the WBUAP CEEE from the Seeing is Believing Innovation fund. "It was exciting to be able to be a part of this project and to share my experience as an employment consultant to assist in this program," says Brian who has been an employment consultant at the RSB for seven years. "It was great to be able to package up and share all that RSB Employment Services do when placing clients in employment and to be able to share that with professionals who may not have all of that knowledge and experience." The Committee on Employment in the National Council for the Blind, Malaysia (NCBM), which is administering the pilot Adaptive Equipment Loan Scheme in collaboration with WBUAP CEEE, expresses its deep gratitude to the Management of RSB for agreeing to send Brian Dibbins to conduct the Workshop. They also express their sincere thanks to Brian for imparting his valuable knowledge on the subject, and for his assurance that he will continue to give his assistance when called upon to do so. ****** RSB develops adaptive technology training program Recognising the need for a training program to assist people in the use of a new screen-reading program, Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) Adaptive Technology staff worked with the International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) to develop an industry- endorsed training program. NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a screen-reading program that reads text on a computer screen out loud, enabling people who are blind or vision impaired to use a computer. The open- source software can also convert text to Braille and unlike many other screen readers on the market, is free, allowing more people to have access to the life- changing technology. NVDA is an impressive development in the realms of adaptive technology and is incredibly popular in developing countries, more so than in Australia where the screen-reader of choice is overwhelmingly JAWS. However, it doesn’t come without its challenges, specifically in terms of users requiring sufficient training to be able to confidently use the program. But who trains the trainers that pass on this knowledge and train computer users who are blind or vision impaired living in developing countries? That’s where the RSB Adaptive Technology Service stepped in. “Frances Gentle who is the Pacific Chairperson at the International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment identified that NVDA could be distributed throughout Australia and Asia, however, there needed to be a program to teach the program to the teachers,” explains RSB Low Vision Centre Coordinator, Andrew Davies. “From there, RSB Adaptive Technology staff developed the NVDA training program that has become available to organisations in the Asia Pacific region, which will ultimately help people who are blind or vision impaired use the program to its full extent, delivering them the best outcomes to help them connect with the world around them.” ****** Contact Details Chief Editor Wong Yoon Loong National Council for the Blind Malaysia 94B Jalan Tun Sambanthan Brickfields 50470 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. E-mail: wongyl@pd.jaring.my wongyl@pd.jaring.my Dr. Issavara Sirirungruang Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University 111 Moo 6, Phuttamonthon 4 Road, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand. E-mail: isvrss@gmail.com, issavara.sir@mahidol.ac.th issavara.sir@mahidol.ac.th Helen Freris c/o International Social Service Australia Level 2 313/315 Flinders Lane Melbourne VIC 3000 Email: hfreris@tpg.com.au hfreris@tpg.com.au Diana Swanson The Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) of South Australia Knapman House 230 Pirie Street Adelaide, South Australia 5000 E-mail: dswanson@rsb.org.au dswanson@rsb.org.au

    Selasa, 14 Januari 2014

    WBU E-BULLETIN VOLUME 8, ISSUE 4 - The New Work-plan 2013 to 2016, December 2013

    TABLE OF CONTENTS Contents CONTRIBUTIONS OF NEWS TO THE E-BULLETIN 1 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE 5 WBU’S NEW STRATEGIC PLAN 6 WORLD BLIND UNION: WORKPLAN SUMMARY 2013-2016 6 1. STRATEGIC PRIORITY 1: HUMAN RIGHTS AND REPRESENTATION 7 1.1. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1: REPRESENTING BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PERSONS AT THE UNITED NATIONS AND RELEVANT UN AGENCIES AT THE GLOBAL AND REGIONAL LEVELS 8 INITIATIVES 8 1.2. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2: ADVOCATING FOR AND PROMOTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PERSONS 8 INITIATIVES 8 1.3. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3: ENGAGING WITH INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS TO PROMOTE THE NEEDS AND VIEWS OF BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PERSONS 8 INITIATIVES 9 2. STRATEGIC PRIORITY 2: CAPACITY BUILDING 9 2.1. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1: IMPROVING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PERSONS 9 INITIATIVES 9 2.2. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2: DEVELOPING THE CAPACITY OF OUR MEMBERS 9 INITIATIVES 10 2.3. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3: SUPPORTING OUR TARGET POPULATIONS FOR FULL INCLUSION 10 INITIATIVES 10 2.4. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 4: SUPPORTING OUR MEMBERS TO IMPLEMENT AND MONITOR THE CRPD AND OTHER UN INSTRUMENTS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL. 10 INITIATIVES 11 2.5. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 5: IMPROVING ACCESS TO REHABILITATION SERVICES BY BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PERSONS 11 INITIATIVES 11 3. STRTEGIC PRIORITY 3: ACCESSIBILITY 11 3.1. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1: IMPROVING ACCESS TO INFORMATION FOR BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PERSONS 11 INITIATIVES 11 3.2. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2: PROMOTING ACCESS TO LOW AND HIGH TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS FOR BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PERSONS 12 INITIATIVES 12 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 12 INITIATIVES 12 4. STRATEGIC PRIORITY 4: INFORMATION SHARING AND COLLABORATION 12 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. 13 INITIATIVES 13 4.2. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2: DEVELOPING AND STRENGTHENING INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATION 13 INITIATIVES 13 4.3. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3: PROMOTING AND ADVANCING THE USE OF BRAILLE THROUGH THE WORK OF THE WORLD BRAILLE COUNCIL 13 INITIATIVES 13 5. ENABLING PRIORITY: ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS 14 5.1. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1: SUPPORTING THE MEMBERS OF THE WBU TO OPTIMIZE THEIR REPRESENTATION OF BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED PERSONS. 14 INITIATIVES 14 5.2. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2: OVERSEEING WBU FINANCIAL RESOURCES 14 INITIATIVES 14 5.3. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3: DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIES TO GENERATE RESOURCES TO SUPPORT THE WORK OF THE WBU. 14 INITIATIVES 15 5.4. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 4: UNDERTAKING A REVIEW OF THE WBU STRUCTURE 15 INITIATIVES 15 5.5. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 5: MONITORING AND EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE WBU OPERATIONS TO SUPPORT ITS WORK 15 INITIATIVES 15 UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD 15 UPDATES FROM WORKING GROUPS 17 THE FULL WIPO MARRAKESH TREATY IS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE UNDER THE RESOURCES SECTION AS WORD & PDF FORMATS. 17 WBU FAQ SHEETS ON UN AND HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS 17 ANNOUNCEMENTS 17 BARCELONA2ROME CYCLING TOUR WBU FUNDRAISER 17 RESOURCES 18 EMPLOYMENT RESOURCE LINKS NEEDED: 18 WORLD BRAILLE USAGE 3RD EDITION 18 BOOKSHARE 18 HADLEY CONTINUING EDUCATION 18 AFB ELEARNING CENTRE 19 2014 IMPORTANT DATES/CONFERENCE NOTICES 19 NEWS FROM THE REGIONS 20 AFRICA 21 ASIA 21 ASIA-PACIFIC 21 EUROPE 21 LATIN AMERICA 21 NORTH AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN 21 WBU OFFICERS 21 REGIONAL PRESIDENTS 21 WBU STAFF 22 OUR PLATINUM SPONSORS 22 OUR DIAMOND SPONSORS 23 CONTRIBUTIONS OF NEWS TO THE E-BULLETIN We welcome stories and articles from those from the regions and by those members who wish to share their good news with the rest of the world. Our next deadline for content submission will be January 17, 2014. We accept submissions in English, French, and Spanish, preferably in electronic format. Please send in by the deadline date to: Marianne.mcquillan@wbuoffice.org PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Dear friends, In this bulletin we want to present the new work plan for WBU for the term. The Officers of WBU held their meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at the beginning of October this year. The main point on the agenda was to finalize the work plan. The new plan is ambitious, but it is also realistic. One of the new objectives in the plan is rehabilitation. We know that the number of elderly people in the world will increase in the near future, and a consequence of this will be that the number of blind and partially sighted will also increase. Rehabilitation will therefore be of importance and we need to pay attention to this. The WIPO Treaty, which is a huge victory for us, needs to be followed up. To gain this treaty was the first step, but that is only the start of the work. To implement it and to advocate for ratification is the next step. There will be a meeting in London in February next year where representatives from all regions will attend. This meeting will be of huge importance for the work with the treaty in this term. We have also started the work with planning the next General Assembly in 2016. We have asked for bids for the next General Assembly, and I hope there will be several bids coming in. There are many action points and activities in the new plan. Hopefully, most of them will be carried out and we will achieve our goals. The challenge to reach what we have decided to do might be lack of resources. Therefore it is important that our members are supporting our work. There are still membership fees that are not paid, so I really hope that all our members will try to do their best. I also hope that some of our members can give some additional support. We have a sponsoring program, and my wish for the coming year is that more members can sponsors in this program. I know that you all face the same challenge to get enough funds, but I still hope that some of you also can contribute to the big project, to influence the global organizations to pay more attention to blindness and improve the situation for blind and partially sighted in the world. The CRPD and the WIPO Treaty are both examples which show that this work also improves the situation for visually impaired people on the grass roots level. I take this opportunity to wish you a relaxing holiday and all the best for the coming year! Arnt Holte WBU’S NEW STRATEGIC PLAN We are including in this newsletter the WBU work-plan summary for this current quadrennial 2013 to 2016. This plan holds the key to the priorities for the next 4-year cycle where we will focus our efforts in order to maximize results. We have made adjustments in our committees and working groups to reflect these priorities. This work-plan is also available in our 3 languages on our website under the Our Work section: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/our-work/strategic-plan/Pages/default.aspx WORLD BLIND UNION: WORKPLAN SUMMARY 2013-2016 Prepared November 2013 INTRODUCTION The following pages contain a summary of the workplan that has been developed to operationalize the WBU Strategic Plan for the current quadrennial term, 2013-2016. The summary includes the Strategic Priorities, Strategic Objectives within each Priority Area, and the Initiatives to be undertaken to progress these objectives. This is a companion document to the more detailed workplan for ease of reference by our WBU members, supporters and members of the public who wish to learn more about our current priorities and initiatives. This summary workplan is available in English, French and Spanish. The full workplan is available in English to anyone who would like a copy of the full document and can be requested from the WBU office at: info@wbuoffice.org. The WBU Officers provide status updates to the workplan at each of their meetings and an annual report, reporting on our progress will be produced and distributed each year, with a full quadrennial report, documenting our progress, to be prepared prior to our General Assembly in 2016. VISION We work within a pyramid vision structure which reflects our Vision of what we would hope to achieve within a twenty year timeframe as well as our Vision for this strategic planning cycle which is four years. Our long term, twenty year Vision is: A community where people who are blind or partially sighted are empowered to participate on an equal basis in any aspect of life they 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 fully accessible to them 4. That the WBU is recognized as an international source of information in matters related to vision impairment WORKPLAN SUMMARY 1. STRATEGIC PRIORITY 1: HUMAN RIGHTS AND REPRESENTATION Priority Leader: Fredric Schroeder, WBU 1st Vice President, fschroeder@sks.com “Promoting full participation and equal opportunities for blind and partially sighted persons in all aspects of social, economic, political and cultural life and ensuring that their voice is heard at the global, regional and national levels in all matters affecting their lives.” 1.1. Strategic Objective 1: Representing Blind and Partially Sighted Persons at the United Nations and relevant UN Agencies at the global and regional levels Objective Leader: Fredric Schroeder, fschroeder@sks.com INITIATIVES • Ensuring adequate representation of blind and partially sighted persons in UN agencies at the global level • Ensuring adequate representation of Blind/Partially sighted persons in UN agencies at the regional level through regional bodies • Influencing the post MDG process in favour of the perspectives of Blind/Partially sighted persons 1.2. Strategic Objective 2: Advocating for and promoting the human rights of blind and partially sighted persons Objective Leader: TBC INITIATIVES • Develop an Advocacy and Human Rights Committee to coordinate and monitor WBU’s human rights and advocacy issues • Advocate for access to mainstream programs for the blind and partially sighted persons • Develop a strategy to provide advocacy support in situations of serious human rights abuses or where blind persons are particularly vulnerable 1.3. Strategic Objective 3: Engaging with international development organizations to promote the needs and views of blind and partially sighted persons Objective Leader: Charles Mossop, charles.mossop@cnib.ca INITIATIVES • Identifying the working group, and the setting of a framework, goals and timelines for the completion of the Objective • Research for the Resource Manual • Preparation of draft 1 of the Resource Manual • Preparation of the final draft of the Resource Manual 2. STRATEGIC PRIORITY 2: CAPACITY BUILDING Priority Leaders: Enrique Pérez, WBU 2nd Vice President, umc@once.es Rina Prasarani, WBU Secretary General, rinalamsyah@gmail.com “Strengthening the capabilities and capacity of the WBU regional structures and member organisations through optimizing strategic partnerships” 2.1. Strategic Objective 1: Improving employment opportunities for blind and partially sighted persons Objective Leader: Maryanne Diamond, maryanne.diamond@visionaustralia.org INITIATIVES • Promote Project Aspiro and keep content current • Encourage employment of persons who are blind and partially sighted at the national level (Resolution 3 from 8th GA) • Work with Regional Employment Committees to Encourage Massage/ Physiotherapy where appropriate (resolution adopted at 8th GA) • Identify opportunities to work with organizations at the international level to improve employment for persons who are blind or have low vision 2.2. Strategic Objective 2: Developing the capacity of our members Objective Leader: Enrique Pérez, umc@once.es INITIATIVES • Foster and strengthen the cooperation and partnership between organizations involved in international development and the WBU Development Committee Chairperson: John Heilbrunn • Analyse and promote relevant CRPD Articles (Article 32) and other UN instruments that can enhance development opportunities for WBU members. • Compilation, development and dissemination of good practice information related to capacity building • Examine the impact of mainstreaming and the cross-disability approaches to development • Development of a fund to facilitate the election, participation and operations of Table Officers from Developing Countries (As per resolution approved by 2012 General Assembly) • Follow up on the implementation of the Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Policy Statement adopted by the WBU in 2011. 2.3. Strategic Objective 3: Supporting our target populations for full inclusion Objective Leader: Rina Prasarani, rinalamsyah@gmail.com INITIATIVES • Developing and implementing a strategy for youth engagement and leadership • Development of an Elderly persons strategy to build on work began during last term and to ensure that our work and that of our members also reflects the needs of older persons with vision loss • Facilitate networks for specific target groups such as: women, youth, children/parents, older persons, low vision persons, indigenous persons; • Monitor engagement and involvement of diverse populations in WBU work and structures 2.4. Strategic Objective 4: Supporting our members to implement and monitor the CRPD and other UN instruments at the National level. Objective Leader: Fredric Schroeder, fschroeder@sks.com INITIATIVES • Ensuring effective implementation of CRPD at the national level through appropriate monitoring mechanism • Enhancing access to information through the promotion of WIPO Treaty • Promoting Universal Postal Union Convention to improve access to postal services • Engaging selected human rights treaty bodies for influencing their actions and processes 2.5. Strategic Objective 5: Improving access to rehabilitation services by blind and partially sighted persons Objective Leader: Carl Augusto, AFB, caugusto@afb.net INITIATIVES • Develop WBU position statement/policy paper on CBR guidelines • Define the rehab issues facing newly blind persons, and determine the extent to which blind persons have access to rehab at the country level 3. STRTEGIC PRIORITY 3: ACCESSIBILITY Priority Leader: Ajai Kumar Mittal, WBU Treasurer, akmittal@rediffmail.com , mittal24ak@yahoo.co.in “Working towards a world that is fully accessible to blind and partially sighted persons” 3.1. Strategic Objective 1: Improving Access to Information for blind and partially sighted persons Objective Leader: Maryanne Diamond, maryanne.diamond@visionaustralia.org INITIATIVES • Achieving a WIPO Treaty for the print Disability community • Ratifying the WIPO treaty • Operationalizing the treaty • Advocate for increasing accessible information for persons who are blind or partially sighted 3.2. Strategic Objective 2: Promoting access to low and high technology solutions for blind and partially sighted persons Objective Leader: Kevin Carey, kevin.carey@rnib.org.uk INITIATIVES • Institute and consolidate access to television through audio description • Institute and consolidate access to mobile telecommunications through text-to-speech technology. • Investigate and influence the regulatory framework for access to financial services. • Influence the design of core technologies that affect such lifestyle activities as travel, shopping, managing money and reading • Develop an alternative format production toolkit for developing countries including braille, modified print and simple architecture for text-to-speech • Transform access to braille through the development of low cost refreshable braille displays 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 Objective Leader: Martine Abel-Williamson, Martine.Abel@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz INITIATIVES • Silent car strategy • Air travel issues strategy • Barrier free/ universal design strategy • Strategy on shared spaces 4. STRATEGIC PRIORITY 4: INFORMATION SHARING AND COLLABORATION Priority Leader: Maryanne Diamond, WBU Past President, maryanne.diamond@visionaustralia.org “Serving as an international information and resource focal point on matters in respect of blind and partially sighted persons and enhancing our ability to achieve our priorities through collaboration 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. Objective Leader: Penny Hartin, penny.hartin@wbuoffice.org INITIATIVES • Updating and improving the WBU website • Updating and development of WBU position statements and resource papers • Utilize social media to reach more audiences • Update methods for communicating with members, others 4.2. Strategic Objective 2: Developing and strengthening international partnerships and collaboration Objective Leader: Maryanne Diamond, maryanne.diamond@visionaustralia.org INITIATIVES • Fostering and enhancing existing partnerships and collaborations • Identify new partnerships and develop plans of collaboration 4.3. Strategic Objective 3: Promoting and advancing the use of braille through the work of the World Braille Council Objective Leader: Pete Osborne, Pete.Osborne@rnib.org.uk INITIATIVES • To Preserve Our Braille Heritage • To support the continued development of affordable Braille technologies to transform the use of Braille throughout the world • To further develop International Braille Music Notation • To further consolidate Braille codes where possible 5. ENABLING PRIORITY: ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS Priority Leader: Arnt Holte, WBU President, Arnt.Holte@blindeforbundet.no “Ensuring the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the WBU” 5.1. Strategic Objective 1: Supporting the members of the WBU to optimize their representation of blind and partially sighted persons. Objective Leader: Rina Prasarani, rinalamsyah@gmai.com INITIATIVES • Develop and implement strategies to work with members that are having difficulty fulfilling WBU membership requirements • Monitor revised application process as modified in Constitutional amendments • Develop strategy to identify potential members in countries that currently are not members of the WBU • Maintaining regular communications with WBU members 5.2. Strategic Objective 2: Overseeing WBU financial resources Objective Leader: A.K. Mittal, akmittal@rediffmail.com, mittal24ak@yahoo.co.in INITIATIVES • Preparation and Review of Financial Documents • Managing the Membership Fee Process • Review and development of financial policies and procedures • Monitoring the financial health of WBU 5.3. Strategic Objective 3: Developing and implementing strategies to generate resources to support the work of the WBU. Objective Leader: Arnt Holte, Arnt.Holte@blindeforbundet.no INITIATIVES • Engage WBU members to help generate the resources required to meet WBU’s financial obligations and implement our priority projects • Fundraising from member countries • Develop & provide fund development workshops to build capacity of members • Creating fund development templates to use for securing support 5.4. Strategic Objective 4: Undertaking a review of the WBU structure Objective Leader: Arnt Holte, Arnt.Holte@blindeforbundet.no INITIATIVES • Review and analyze present WBU structure at international and regional levels • Identification of Options and preparation of recommendation for EXCO meeting • Develop and implement plan for taking structure recommendation to the General Assembly in 2016 5.5. Strategic Objective 5: Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the WBU operations to support its work Objective Leader: Arnt Holte, Arnt.Holte@blindeforbundet.no INITIATIVES • Plan and implement the 9th General Assembly to be held in 2016 • Management of WBU staff and WBU office operations • Managing and monitoring the Strategic Planning Process • Review and development of policies and procedures for effective operations End of the strategic work plan. UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD As you know, there was a super typhoon, Typhoon Haiyan that devastated a huge area of the Philippines. WBU Asia-Pacific Region President, Michiko Tabata has been in regular contact with Randy Weisser of the organization, Resources for the Blind in Manila to get updates of the blind people most affected by this natural disaster. Randy let us know his group has been to the affected area to assess the short-term and long-term needs of the families and schools. His reports are available to read (in English only) on our website under the News section: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/news/Pages/How-Typhoon-Haiyan-affected-disabled-people.aspx People wishing to help can support Resources for the Blind by making direct donations: www.blind.org.ph We Thank Our Friends As the year draws to an end we would be remiss if we did not thank all our members and people within these organizations who volunteer their time and talents to make the work of the WBU a reality, and who have helped us accomplish so much. We appreciate all who sit on our committees and working groups and value those who lend their expertise to make these groups provide results that improve the lives of millions of blind and visually impaired people all over the world. We have accomplished a lot in most of our priority areas such as technology, ensuring new electronics are made with accessibility features built in. We also advocate to make disability a recognized concern for the new UN post 2015 development goals. A huge task that took almost a decade of people’s time finally came to fruition: the international copyright treaty for books, now known as the Marrakesh Treaty is an international legal decree that when implemented will ensure greater access to books for millions of people. Focusing on the Right to Work campaign, partnering with CNIB and with financial backing from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we created a website called Project Aspiro: http://projectaspiro.com/en/Pages/default.aspx to assist those who have the desire to further their skills and access resources to make the job-hunt a smoother process. As the recognized Voice of the Blind, we make our Table officers, region presidents and other experts available to the UN and its various departments so that the current world issues being faced are dealt with keeping the needs of blind and disabled persons in mind in shaping policies and programs. The work of implementing the articles in the UN CRPD is a constant task. With the generous financial support of CBM, we have been able to make an expert, Dr. Victor Cordeiro, available to our members to help them navigate this charter in order to understand each of the rights in order to effectively act on each article of the document. With these new skills plans can be implemented at the local government levels that will vastly improve the lives of millions of disabled citizens. We have much to be proud of and therefore, we are thankful to our members who support the WBU by paying their fees in full and on time, and we appreciate those special member organizations that provide even greater support with financial contributions made to WBU in addition to their membership fees. We also have a small cadre of individuals and foundations that choose to support the work of WBU, knowing we advance human rights all over the world. Without this additional financial support, we may not be able to be as effective as we have been in all of these fields. We will be focusing more in this area to increase support from foundations and organizations outside our membership base. UPDATES FROM WORKING GROUPS The full WIPO Marrakesh Treaty is available on our website under the Resources section as Word & PDF formats. http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/resources/Pages/WIPO-Marrakesh-Treaty-2013.aspx WBU FAQ Sheets on UN and Human Rights Instruments They will soon be located on the WBU website under Our Work section on the CRPD page. These will be up to read and use in 2014. ANNOUNCEMENTS Barcelona2Rome Cycling Tour WBU Fundraiser We are grateful to John Watkins and his team of dedicated cyclists who managed to ride from Barcelona Spain, to Rome Italy (a distance of 1,100 miles) over a three-week period from September 14 finishing on October 4. They did so in support of the World Blind Union’s Right to Read (R2R) campaign. The R2R was established to combat the book famine faced by people with limited vision around the world. We are also grateful to our local members, ONCE in Spain and Unione Italiana Ciechi, and the wonderful staff who helped John and his team gain local media attention. You can still donate to this event and help John make his fundraising goal by visiting the Barcelona2Rome website http://barcelona2rome.com/. RESOURCES Employment resource links needed: WBU asks all of our members who have employment resources information or an employment section on their websites, to send these links to Marianne McQuillan (Marianne.mcquillan@wbuoffice.org) so she can add these to our WBU website as part of our Right to Work campaign. This will help blind and visually impaired people in their search for information to help them gain the skills and knowledge needed to become employed. World Braille Usage 3rd Edition It is available to read or download from our website, under the Braille section in Resources: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/resources/Pages/Braille-Information.aspx or it can also be accessed on the Perkins website: http://www.perkins.org/assets/downloads/worldbrailleusage/world-braille-usage-third-edition.pdf Bookshare Bookshare has been a great partner in our Right 2 Read campaign and CEO, Jim Fruchterman was in Morocco during the Marrakesh Treaty negotiations. Once the treaty is signed and ratified in the USA, Bookshare will be able to provide even more of their inventory to thousands more blind men, women and children around the world. https://www.bookshare.org/ Hadley Continuing Education What are your education goals for 2014? Willing to try an on-line course? If you like the idea of distance learning, look at Hadley School for the Blind’s website to see the adult continuing education (ACE) courses they offer and consider learning Braille. Hadley courses are free to blind or visually impaired men and women, and parents of blind children. Here is the link to their catalogue to learn more: http://www.hadley.edu/ACE-CourseListing.asp AFB eLearning Centre The AFB eLearning Center; as a long-time leader in the arena of professional development for vision loss specialists, AFB is now offering webinars on cutting-edge topics from some of the most reputable names in the field. Busy professionals in the blindness and low vision fields can access this familiar resource with a new look and even more robust offerings. All webinars and online courses are accessible and user-friendly. To explore AFB's ever-growing collection of eLearning offerings, visit eLearn.afb.org or email eLearning@afb.net 2014 IMPORTANT DATES/CONFERENCE NOTICES January 4th – World Braille Day – held on this day to honour Louis Braille, this day focuses on the need for braille as a tool that enables blind people to gain the skills of reading and writing in order to learn and connect to the world. Be sure to let us know how your school or organization will be celebrating this important day. February 27 to March 1st AFB Leadership Conference in NYC The 2014 American Foundation for the Blind’s at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott. Conference attendees can join colleagues new and old for three days of informative and thought-provoking sessions led by leaders in the field. Visit www.afb.org/afblc for the latest information on this conference that draws hundreds of professionals from across the country and around the world. March 31st to April 4th, 2014 -the next Low Vision Conference will be in Melbourne, Australia. Website to register or learn more about this conference: http://www.vision2014.org/ May 5 to 7th 2014 - The Foundation for Employment Promotion of the Blind and the Thailand Association of the Blind invites you to the 12th WBU-AP Massage Seminar in Bangkok. The theme of the seminar is “Medical Massage for the Blind”. You will have opportunity to meet and exchange your experiences with experts and specialists in the field of massage from more than ten countries. Please visit the website www.wbuapseminar2014.org for more information. July 4 to 8th 2014- The Lions International Conference will be held in Toronto, Canada. WBU along with the Vision Alliance (ICEVI & IAPB) intend to have an active presence during this event by hosting a Vision Alliance information booth and providing a keynote speaker(s), and holding workshops pertaining to our key priorities for the 1000+ Lions who will attend from all around the world. Let us know if you are a Lion and/or would like to help us with this important initiative. Please contact Penny.Hartin@wbuoffice.org as planning for this will begin early in 2014. July 30 to August 3rd - AER International Conference 2014, in San Antonio, Texas, and will draw participants from around the world for an intense educational experience for professionals who work with those who are blind and visually impaired. Sessions on assistive technology, education, aging & blindness, low vision, vision rehabilitation therapy, multiple disabilities, and much more will be presented. Visit www.aerbvi.org regularly for updates. October 12 -17th - 6TH IDP AFRICA FORUM - The Institutional Development Program (IDP) is pleased to announce the 6th Africa Forum will be held in Kampala, Uganda. It will focus on a new development agenda for African blindness services beyond the UN Millennium Development Goals. This is a joint programs generously sponsored by Sightsavers, Perkins International and the WBU, along with NAPB & CNIB. Details will be provided on the website: http://www.perkins.org/idp/ later in 2014. October 19- 22nd - The 1st World Summit of Destinations for All -aims to establish an international strategy to develop inclusive tourism. The event will take place in Montreal, Canada at the Palais des congrès. Tourism for all is not only a question of human rights, but it is also a target market that investors should consider. For more information link to their website: www.destinationspourtous2014.com NEWS FROM THE REGIONS Our regions are the bridge between the international level of work and the local level. Policies and treaties constructed at global levels are then carried out by our members in their own countries. Most of the regions have their own websites where they post updates of their work, member activities, and upcoming events in their area. AFRICA http://www.afub-uafa.org/ ASIA http://www.abunion.org ASIA-PACIFIC http://wbuap.org/index/ EUROPE http://www.euroblind.org/ LATIN AMERICA http://ulacdigital.org/ Hosted the latest meeting of the WBU tale officers… NORTH AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN (No website available, updates will be provided in the January edition) WBU OFFICERS Mr. Arnt Holte, President arnt.holte@blindeforbundet.no Dr. Frederic K. Schroeder, 1st Vice President fschroeder@sks.com Mr. Enrique Pérez, 2nd Vice President EPB@once.es Mrs. Rina Prasarani, Secretary General rinalamsyah@gmail.co Mr. A. K. Mittal, Treasurer akmittal@rediffmail.com Ms. Maryanne Diamond, Immediate Past President maryanne.diamond@visionaustralia.org REGIONAL PRESIDENTS AFRICA (AFUB) Mr. Jace Nair jace@sancb.org.za ASIA (ABU) Mr. Santosh Kumar Rungta santoshkumar.rungta@gmail.com ASIA PACIFIC (WBU-AP) Ms. Michiko Tabata tabacchi@par.odn.ne.jp EUROPE (EBU) Mr. Wolfgang Angerman w.angermann@dbsv.org LATIN AMERICA (ULAC) Mr. Volmir Raimondi presidencia@ulacdigital.org NORTH AMERICA/CARIBBEAN (WBU-NA/C) Mr. Charles Mossop charles.mossop@cnib.ca WBU STAFF Dr. Penny Hartin, Chief Executive Officer penny.hartin@wbuoffice.org Ms. Marianne McQuillan, Manager, Fund Development & Communications Marianne.mcquillan@wbuoffice.org Ms. Ianina Rodriguez, Administrative Assistant Ianina.rodriguez@wbuoffice.org Dr. Victor Cordeiro, Advocacy Coordinator adco.wbu@gmail.com The World Blind Union is registered in Canada as a charitable organization in order to raise funds for our work. Donations from individuals or groups are always appreciated and can be made via the “Donate Now” button on our website: www.worldblindunion.org. The members listed below provide funds, beyond their membership fees to support the work of the World Blind Union. We are grateful to these members for their valued contributions. OUR PLATINUM SPONSORS  Royal National Institute of Blind Persons (RNIB) www.rnib.org  Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) http://www.cnib.ca  Organizacion Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE) http://www.once.es  Vision Australia http://www.visionaustralia.org.au/  Sightsavers International http://www.sightsavers.org OUR DIAMOND SPONSORS  Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind  Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted (NABP)  Swiss Federation of the Blind and Sight Impaired (SFB)  National Industries for the Blind (NIB)

    Jumat, 29 Maret 2013

    WBU E-BULLETIN VOLUME 7, ISSUE 1, February 2013

    TABLE OF CONTENTS CONTRIBUTIONS OF NEWS TO THE E-BULLETIN 3 REQUESTS FOR BRAILLE COPIES OF THE E-BULLETIN 4 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE 4 WBU STRATEGIC PLAN 2013 TO 2016 OVERVIEW 5 WBU 2012 GENERAL ASSEMBLY 5 NEWLY ELECTED WBU TABLE OFFICERS 6 PASSED RESOLUTIONS 6 NEW HONOURARY LIFE MEMBERS 6 2012 LOUIS BRAILLE METAL WINNER: MR. JAWAHAR LAL KAUL, OF INDIA 7 SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATE 10 UPDATES FROM WORKING GROUPS 10 RIGHT TO READ CAMPAIGN: WIPO TREATY UPDATE - IS THE FINISH LINE IN MOROCCO IN JUNE? 10 WBU EMPLOYMENT RESOURCE BANK PROJECT IS LAUNCHED 12 TRANSLATING THE CRPD LEGAL COMMITMENTS INTO LOCAL OUTCOMES 15 DISABILITY UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD 17 PENNY HARTIN PRESENTED ON LOW VISION REHABILITATION AT THE IAPB – EMR CONFERENCE ON LOW VISION IN QATAR 18 NVDA DEVELOPMENT PROJECT UPDATE 18 BEYOND THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS 2015 – LIBERIA’S POSITION PAPER FOR INCLUSIVE APPROACHES 19 TIBET IN BLIND PEOPLE'S EYES EXHIBIT 21 STRUGGLE OF A SIGHTLESS VISIONARY 22 FROM THE IDA DEC. BULLETIN: QUADRENNIAL COMPREHENSIVE POLICY REVIEW 24 ANNOUNCEMENTS 25 A WIN-WIN SITUATION FOR NAPB AND WBU 25 SUDDEN DEATH OF INCLUSIVE PLANET FOUNDER, RAHUL CHERIAN 25 JOHN WILSON, WBU LIFETIME MEMBER, HAS PASSED AWAY. 26 MORE SAD NEWS OF A PASSING COLLEAGUE 26 RESOURCES 26 JOINT WORLD BLIND UNION AND THE AMD ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN BRIEF 26 RESOURCE GENERATION WORKING GROUP 27 CRPD – NEW LINK ON UN WEB SITE 27 THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (CRPD) 27 THE WORLD BRAILLE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES A NEW SCHOLARSHIP 28 INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING SITE FOR DISABLED YOUTH IS LAUNCHED 28 2013 CONFERENCE NOTICES 28 NEWS FROM THE REGIONS 30 AFRICA 30 ASIA 30 ASIA-PACIFIC 31 NEW LEGISLATIVE CLAUSE RELATED TO VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION IN MONGOLIA FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (PWDS) 31 EUROPE 31 EUROPEAN UNION’S DECISION ON SILENT CARS ISSUE 32 ONCE’S SUPPORT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING 32 LATIN AMERICA 33 PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN ULAC AND ESVI-AL PROJECT (INCLUSIVE POST SECONDARY VIRTUAL EDUCATION) 33 ULAC OFFICERS WILL MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SPAIN 33 LAUNCH OF A NEW PHASE IN “LATIN AMERICA” MAGAZINE 33 NORTH AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN 34 WBU OFFICERS 34 REGIONAL PRESIDENTS 34 WBU STAFF 35 CONTRIBUTIONS OF NEWS TO THE E-BULLETIN At the Strategic planning session in London in February it was decided to alter the content of the E-Bulletin to reflect less of the activities taking place in the regions, and to offer more on the campaigns and positive results of the WBU’s working groups and committees. As most of the WBU regions have their own newsletters, we found there was too much duplication. Many of the regions now have their own websites and so this may be the place for readers to go to look for news from the regions. On the WBU website under each region, we list their website address (for those that have set up a website). Therefore, starting with this issue, we will focus on articles that discuss the outcomes of the work taking place that accomplish the goals of the WBU. Going forward, we will chiefly provide information on the work being done by the WBU working groups and committees in furthering our goals of inclusion, capacity building and resource sharing. We will still always welcome articles from the regions and by those who wish to share their good news with the rest of the world. Our next deadline for content submission will be Monday April 15, 2013. We still accept story submissions in English, French, and Spanish, preferably in electronic format. Please send to Marianne by the deadline date at Marianne.mcquillan@wbuoffice.org REQUESTS FOR BRAILLE COPIES OF THE E-BULLETIN For those who would like to receive the WBU E-Bulletin as a printed braille edition, we can do so thanks to the wonderful people at All India Confederation of the Blind who make these editions possible. If you wish to receive braille versions of the E-Bulletin, please send to the WBU office your full name and mailing address, including country, email contact as well as number of copies and whether or not you want contracted or uncontracted Braille. If we receive at least fifty requests, we can then provide AICB an up-to-date list. The AICB had been producing the E-Bulletin in braille for several years now, and sending it out to members who had made this request in the past, but due to getting too many of these mailings returned as bad address, this operation ceased. Even if you have received the English braille service in the past, you must still let us know that you continue to be interested and provide us with your current mailing address and format requirements. Currently, this print braille edition is only available in English. If members from other language groups would like to offer this service to members we would of course be very grateful. Please provide us with your English braille requests by April 30th. Please send in your request to the WBU office at: info@wbuoffice.org. PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE First of all I would like to thank you all for the trust you showed me when you elected me President of WBU. I was touched and moved. Such an honour is a rare experienced and I feel incredibly humbled in front of the mission that now stands ahead of me. Meanwhile, leading WBU is no one-man show. I think I can say, on behalf of the entire team, that we all feel a great responsibility, and that we will all work hard in order to reach the goals that we have agreed upon. We have completed a fundraising seminar where we have discussed how we can secure more resources for our work. This will also benefit our member organisations, and it will ensure more resources for WBU. Furthermore we have conducted a successful workshop that laid the foundation for our work going forward. The conclusion from this workshop was that much of our engagement from the previous period will be continued, in addition to making room for new essential areas such as rehabilitation. The workshop was followed by our Officers Meeting where we were able to agree on the necessary statutes in order to get started. We are also close to ensuring that the right people are in the right places in terms of the different areas, although we do still lack a few names. WBU depends on strong communication with our members, and good cooperation. If everyone works to their full potential, then we can actually change the world. The realisation that more and more challenges are in need of global cooperation in order to be solved is becoming clearer to me every day. One example of this is silent cars; another is ensuring that blind and partially sighted children all over the world have access to education. If we look ahead we will see that in short time we will reach our goal of a WIPO Treaty. This will be an important step in our battle, however much work will still remain. I am on the move and am shortly leaving for Haiti where I will look at what our colleagues have achieved after the great earthquake. This is an exciting moment, and yet another example of how we all can need help, and that together we can make a difference. Arnt Holte, President WBU STRATEGIC PLAN 2013 TO 2016 OVERVIEW The 2012 WBU General Assembly was held in November where new table officers were elected to lead the Union and new resolutions were supported to shape the work for the next four years. In February, the new team met in London, UK (hosted by the RNIB, with our thanks) in order to create the plan for the next four years. The plan is now being developed based on that input and a comprehensive overview will be included in the next issue of the E-bulletin. WBU 2012 GENERAL ASSEMBLY Newly elected WBU Table Officers  President: Arnt Holte, Norway  1st Vice President: Frederic Schroeder, USA  2nd Vice President: Enrique Perez, Spain  Secretary General: Rina Prasarani, Indonesia  Treasurer: A.K. Mittal, India (second term in this position)  Immediate Past President: Maryanne Diamond, Australia Read their biographies on our website: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/about-wbu/Pages/Executive-Bodies.aspx Passed Resolutions 12 Resolutions were passed at the WBU General Assembly, focusing on a variety of issues. The key points are listed below, and to read each resolution in full follow this link to the document on our website: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/about-wbu/Pages/WBU-Resolutions.aspx 2012 resolutions – just the headlines 1.) Disaster Preparedness 2.) Encourage Employment 3.) Encourage training in Massage/Physiotherapy 4.) ISO on Usage of Braille 5.) The Right to an Independent Vote for people who are blind or partially sighted 6.) Establishment of a Fund to support Table Officers Elected from Developing Countries 7.) CRPD having implementation tools and training for members 8.) Actions to improve technology 9.) UN Global Compact 10.) Eye Donation Day 11.) Reporting on Adopted Resolutions 12.) Access to E-Books New Honourary Life Members The following people were granted lifetime membership status in the World Blind Union due to their life’s work of making life better for blind and partially sighted people all over the world: Lord Colin Low of England, John Wamono Gususwa of Uganda, Maria Gloria Peniza Lomba of Venezuela, William Rowland of South Africa, Mian Javaid Manzoor and Saad Noor of Pakistan, and Mr. Yoshihiko Sasagawa of Japan. We are very pleased that Mr. Sasagawa chose to make a donation to the WBU in honor of his Life member status. 2012 Louis Braille Metal Winner: Mr. Jawahar Lal Kaul, of India The Louis Braille medal is the most prestigious award accorded by the WBU with a maximum of 2 Medals awarded at any one General Assembly. It is not incumbent on the WBU to award the Louis Braille Medal each and every quadrennium but only when an outstanding candidate is presented. This award is granted to individuals who have made a substantial and outstanding contribution to people who are blind or partially sighted through international service or to the WBU over a long period of time. Before the WBU meets every four years, we accept applications from individuals, groups of individuals, or national members for a person to be considered to receive the Louis Braille Medal. So it was with great care and consideration that we awarded this 2012 Louis Braille Medal to Mr. Jawahar Lal Kaul. He stands out as a beacon of hope and promise for millions of blind and partially sighted persons in India and beyond. It was in 1969 that Kaul first met with a leading international leader, Dr. Isabelle Grant, Treasurer, International Federation of the Blind, when she visited Delhi during WCWB General Assembly. Kaul was then participating in a protest fast in support of employment for the blind in India. This brief meeting inspired young Kaul to work unstintingly for carving out a place of dignity for his blind counterparts. After establishing the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the first self-help organization of the blind in India, Mr. Kaul wanted passionately to provide a common platform for the blind outside the country too. In 1975, he attended his first major international gathering—the International Leadership Seminar held in Kuala Lumpur. Here, he met the then President, International Federation of the Blind (IFB), Dr. Fatima Shah and the two deliberated intensely on having IFB presence in the region. On his return, Mr. Kaul consulted Dr. Grant and, thus emerged the idea of establishing an East Asia Committee of IFB. He worked on the idea and persuaded a senior officer in the Government of India, Lal Advani, (himself blind and well-known in the region) to head the Committee. Thus, The Committee was inaugurated in New Delhi in September, 1976 by Dr. Fatima Shah. The Committee, at that time, consisted of blind representatives from countries in South Asia, South-East Asia and Australasia. Mr. Kaul took over as Executive Secretary of the Committee in 1977, a position he held with distinction till 1985. He helped Lal Advani convene the first Conference of the East Asia Committee in New Delhi in 1977, which was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India. Delegates from about 15 countries participated—the first such gathering of blind leaders in the region. Those were of course, difficult times. The self-help movement in the region was either non-existent or was, at best, in a fledgling state. Resources were scant. There was a parallel Asian Committee of the WCWB. For most of the time, as an economic measure, Mr. Kaul accommodated the office of the East Asia Committee at the NFB and then at All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) during his Executive Secretaryship. An intensive campaign was launched to sensitize blind and partially sighted persons in the region to their rights and the crucial significance of a movement of their own. Country-specific leadership training seminars were organized and a bi-monthly journal, "The Braille International" was produced and circulated free of charge throughout the IFB member-countries and, thereafter, for some time, among WBU members also. The journal contained information and articles on various important international events and developments concerning the visually impaired. In 1985, the growing AICB activities impelled Mr. Kaul to give all his time for that organization. But here, too, Mr. Kaul did not overlook the international perspective. Under his guidance, AICB set up in 1985, the Women's Advisory Committee which was launched by Late Dr. Salma Maqbool who was then the Chair of the WBU Women's Forum. The Committee proved a precursor to many such committees in the region during the next few years. Also, AICB undertook a scheme of three-month Training Courses in the Management of Associations Of and For the Blind during late 80's and early 90's. Besides India, a number of blind leaders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Uganda received training at these courses which proved immensely beneficial for them. Following the restructuring of Asia Blind Union, Mr. Kaul was unanimously elected its Secretary General at the Melbourne General Assembly in 2000. This assignment, too, was fraught with challenges. The ABU now included countries from the Middle-East following the disbanding of Middle-East Union as also members from Central Asia (erstwhile Soviet Republics). The former had understandable initial doubts about this new arrangement, while the countries in Central Asia were faced with extremely volatile political and economic conditions. But, Mr. Kaul rose to the occasion and soon dispelled all apprehensions and misgivings, taking everyone along with him as a cohesive and mutually trusting team. A large number of programmes concerning training/orientation of professionals, widening employment avenues, promoting technology-access, provision of basic Braille equipment, advocacy and lobbying and UNCRPD activities were organized. Special attention was paid to providing necessary support to members in Central Asia and on empowering women. Research studies were conducted on the status of youth and women in their respective organizations across the region and suitable strategy documents prepared for raising their profile. Mr. Kaul was re-elected unopposed as Secretary General, ABU, in the Assemblies held in 2004 and 2008. He relinquished charge of his own accord in 2012 after 12 years' distinguished service. Many and varied are Mr. Kaul's achievements to merit his selection for this prestigious Award:  He laid the Foundations of the self-help movement of the blind in the region by facilitating the establishment of the East Asia Committee of IFB;  The courses run at his organization—AICB—provided training free of charge to a large number of representatives from several developing countries in different facets of managing organizations of the blind, thus facilitating organizational development;  AICB under his guidance prepared a comprehensive Braille manual in English on organizational management which has relevance for other countries as well;  The Braille Press at AICB produced and circulated free of charge ABU newsletter "Progress" continuously from 1998 to 2011 and the WBU e-Bulletin from 2009 onward;  He stabilized the functioning of the restructured ABU;  He was presented the prestigious Marga Schulze Foundation (Germany) Award at the ICEVI Conference at Kuala Lumpur in 2006 for "Promotion of blind and partially-sighted girls and women in Asia and Africa";  He was unanimously elected Honorary Life Member, WBU at the General Assembly in 2008 for rendering "Long and outstanding international service through the WBU to people who are blind and partially sighted";  He was designated as the Chair of WBU's World Braille Council for the past quadrennium—a responsibility he discharged most conscientiously and efficiently channelling the collective wisdom and experience of members; Almost all WBU Presidents have visited AICB in India and have positively commended its activities under the guidance of Mr. Kaul. SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATE We now have over 550 people and organizations that follow us on Twitter. If you tweet, you can also follow at: @blindunion. We are also on Facebook too. We encourage members to let us know if you have a Twitter account so we can alert others and follow you. UPDATES FROM WORKING GROUPS Right to Read Campaign: WIPO Treaty Update - is the finish line in Morocco in June? By Dan Pescod For the last four years WBU has been working hard to bring about an international treaty that would improve access to copyrighted works for visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities around the world. We are now, hopefully, approaching our goal. In November 2012, WBU took part in the WIPO Copyright Committee meeting (SCCR) which negotiated on the draft treaty text. This was yet another intensive, intense and interminable meeting at which we had to battle to ensure a treaty text that would be workable in practice. Before, during, and after that meeting, we carried out our usual frenetic round of meetings, lobbying, media work and worldwide coordination of efforts to keep the campaign on track. The landmark development in this campaign is that, on 18th December, governments at the specially convened WIPO Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) agreed that they would negotiate a legally binding WIPO treaty for print disabled people, and would aim to finish the work in June 2013. The EGA made the key decision "to convene a Diplomatic Conference on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities to be held between June 16 and 30, 2013, in Marrakech, Morocco.(A Diplomatic Conference is the highest level of negotiations in the UN system.) This Conference is mandated to negotiate and adopt a treaty on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities." [Source: WIPO press release, December 18] The EGA also agreed that there would be a special WIPO SCCR session in Geneva February 18-22 to work further on the detail of the treaty text. The EGA further decided that there could be -if needed- more meetings to get the text ready before June. However, the aim is clearly to get the text almost finalized in February to increase the chances of success in the Diplomatic Conference in June. This is a great result from the EGA as far as WBU is concerned, and it is a landmark decision for WIPO too. Never before has WIPO agreed to have a Diplomatic Conference to conclude a treaty for users' access. It has always made treaties to strengthen the protection of intellectual property for publishers, authors or holders of patents etc. That is of course a main reason that the campaign for this treaty has been so hard-fought. The EGA decision also means we are now into the last six months of work (if all goes well) before the campaign for a treaty is completed. Nothing of course is straightforward in this campaign. The EU was pushing for the EGA decision to have a "kill point" after the February 2013 SCCR meeting. That provision would have meant that if it were deemed at the end of the February meeting that insufficient progress had been made with the text, WIPO member states could have pulled the plug on the whole process and avoided holding the Diplomatic Conference. The final EGA decision largely closed out that possibility. In the next couple of months WBU will have to step up its campaigning to ensure that the treaty text is really workable. It needs to be simple and clearly worded so that it can be easily understood. It must not heap administrative burdens on the "Authorized Entities” which hope to use the treaty to send accessible format books across national borders. The treaty text The WBU team at WIPO has been working very hard with all WIPO member states to ensure that the treaty is worded in such a way as to be effective in allowing blind, partially sighted and print disabled people to get access to a greater number and variety of books. There is still work to be done on the text. The treaty must be simple; it needs also to be written in such a way that it finds acceptance with publishers and governments. The latest report WIPO meetings held in late February are on our website main page: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/Pages/default.aspx WBU Employment Resource Bank Project is Launched By Karen Wolffe The importance of work cannot be downplayed – it is the means by which most adults support themselves and their families. Work is how modern people contribute to the larger community – giving of their energies and talents for the greater good. It is through work that individuals develop and maintain confidence and self-esteem. Unfortunately, one of the greatest challenges people with visual impairments throughout the world face is that only a very small percentage of them will manage to secure employment in the competitive labour market. Project Aspiro is a new career planning and employment website designed specifically to address this problem. www.projectaspiro.com Project Aspiro was developed in partnership by the World Blind Union and the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) and was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Unacceptably low rates of employment that visually impaired people throughout the world experience are well-documented (LaGrow & Davey, 2006; United Nations, 2012; Vision Australia, 2012; Wolffe & Spungin, 2002). Employment statistics in developed countries such as Australia, the United States, Canada, and others have remained fairly stable for many years – employment has hovered between 30 and 40%, depending on individuals’ level of education, age, amount of vision, and overall health. In developing countries, the rate of employment for adults with visual disabilities is even more abysmal – rarely being reported above 10%. However, these employment statistics only take into consideration people “in the labour market” – they don’t consider the many, many adults who’ve given up in despair and are no longer even attempting to find work. The United States Bureau of Labour Statistics has been reporting on the labour market participation and employment of people with disabilities since 2006 and it now estimated that nearly 80% of working-age adults with visual disabilities are no longer even attempting to find work. Some of those out-of-work people are unemployed by choice – they’ve chosen to retire after losing vision or they have chronic illnesses or other disabling conditions in addition to blindness that inhibit their ability to work; however, research in a number of countries, including the US and Canada, has indicated that approximately two-thirds of those who are unemployed would like to gain employment (Taylor, Krane, & Orkis, 2010; Statistics Canada, 2010). Project Aspiro is designed to help those individuals explore career options and secure jobs, if they would like to do so. The website is a comprehensive career planning and employment resource for individuals with visual disabilities of all ages and in any stage of their careers throughout the world. There are four main sections of the website:  The first section is targeted to individuals with visual disabilities. Information on the site is designed to help people plan and then implement their careers. We share techniques and strategies for living independently, describe how to gain skills through formal and experiential learning opportunities, provide career exploration and job seeking skills activities and resources, and describe job maintenance and career advancement approaches. We do this with FAQs, tip sheets, and checklists designed to make the content meaningful and easily accessible.  The second section is geared toward service providers: teachers, counsellors, employment specialists, or any other professionals working with individuals who are blind or have low vision. This section details how to help students and clients help themselves in exploration of their interests, abilities, values, and work personality; assessment of the labour market and information about available jobs and career paths, preparation for work, and describes the supports needed to facilitate successful placement into employment.  The third section is written with families and friends of individuals with visual disabilities in mind. Because we recognize that career development starts at birth and continues throughout people’s lives, this section describes the typical career development process and details how families and friends can support their children, relatives, or friends and acquaintances when they are ready to engage in work and successfully advance through their careers.  The final section is written for employers who are considering hiring applicants with visual disabilities or who have current workers losing vision. Information about appropriate job site accommodations are described for workers without vision and those with low vision. Concerns that employers have expressed related to blind or low vision individuals’ ability to work safely, travel to and from work and get around within the work environment, access printed and pictorial information, and meet productivity standards are addressed. Each section of the website includes FAQs, tip sheets, checklists, and links to programs, services, and organizations, as well as, annotated resource listings. In addition, there are a number of audio/video segments highlighting successfully employed individuals from around the world. This is meant to be a dynamic website and it is anticipated that more video footage and audio interviews with successfully employed individuals with visual disabilities will be posted over time. Please visit Project Aspiro often and share your feedback with the author (karenwolffe@gmail.com). Article references:  LaGrow, S. J., & Daye, P. (2005). Barriers to employment identified by blind and vision-impaired persons in New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/journals-and-magazines/social-policy-journal/spj26/26-barriers-to-employment-identified-by-blind-and-vision-impaired-persons-pages173-185.html#References9  Statistics Canada. (2010). The 2006 participation and activity limitation survey (PALS). Ontario: author.  Taylor, H., Krane, D., Orkis, K. (2010). The ADA, 20 years later: Kessler foundation and National Organization on Disability report. Retrieved from http://www.2010disabilitysurveys.org/  United Nations, (2012). Disability and employment fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=255  Vision Australia. (2012), Employment Research Survey Report 2012. Melbourne: Vision Australia Research and Measures Team – International and Stakeholder Relations Department.  Wolffe, K.E. and S. Spungin (2002). A glance at worldwide employment of people with visual impairments. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 96, 245–254. TRANSLATING THE CRPD LEGAL COMMITMENTS INTO LOCAL OUTCOMES The entire world community of disabled persons, including those with sensory and physical disabilities, was filled with joy on December 13, 2006. This was the day on which a long-awaited international law was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly towards enabling the disabled community to realize their long pending dreams, and ambitions of life as legitimate members of the human family. This magic instrument is known as UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD or CRPD). This is a very powerful human rights instrument which clearly proclaims and champions basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons with disabilities. Millions of disabled people, particularly the 285 million who are blind or partially sighted, have renewed their hopes for an inclusive and better society to live a life with dignity in accessible communities. For some time, my encounters with other blind and partially sighted persons who had a wide range of questions pertaining to the implementation of the CRPD were not satisfactory in providing them solid answers. I was helpless to answer their questions for a long time. Suddenly I got answers for all of their questions and queries when I looked at my presentations on “CRPD regional networks” and “CRPD tool kit”. I realized that WBU is quite knowledgeable about these queries having significantly contributed in the creation and negotiation process of CRPD, providing the perspectives of those who are blind or partially sighted. WBU has been striving to translate the legal commitments into measurable outcomes on the ground which will make significant difference in the lives of 285 million people who are blind or partially sighted across the globe. I was excited to share this truth with all the member organizations present at the WBU General Assembly in November. I had an opportunity of introducing two actions and tireless concern of the WBU to the delegates in order to reinforce their faith in implementing the CRPD. WBU has been striving to build the capacity of its member organizations by providing them with appropriate tools for ensuring effective implementation of provisions enshrined in the convention. Our CRPD toolkit provides the means for effective monitoring and active participation in the legal and policy reform process at the national level. The CRPD tool kit was created and launched by WBU for the benefit of its member organizations in order to understand analyses, internalize and read the perspective of the convention and its implications on persons who are blind and partially sighted. It is a combination of resources to enable member organizations to intensify their critical engagement with the stakeholders of strategic importance. It includes WBU analysis of CRPD articles and check list for CRPD articles from the perspective of blind and partially sighted persons. It provides an advocacy tool for effective monitoring at the local and national levels. It introduces the concept of CRPD champions and regional coordinators to ensure the grounding of rights of blind and partially sighted persons in real life situations. All the member organizations are strongly encouraged to use this resource in their struggle for equity and justice. It is available on the WBU website in our Resources section under toolkits: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/resources/Pages/Toolkits.aspx The other important concept which WBU has been advocating among its member organizations is setting up and engaging in CRPD networks. Each member organization is encouraged to nominate a CRPD national champion in order to coordinate actions related to CRPD at the national level not only with the government departments but also its own affiliate and associate organizations as well as other organizations of blind and partially sighted and other disabled organizations as well. The CRPD national champion is accountable for building the capacity of organizations; actively participate in the consultation process organized by the GOVT and take up advocacy issues with regard to implementation of CRPD articles on the ground. Each WBU region is strongly encouraged to nominate a CRPD coordinator in order to coordinate CRPD related actions in close support of national champions. The regional coordinator is accountable for facilitating mutual sharing of information, good practices and new developments in the sector towards upgrading the knowledge base of its member organizations. Many of the member organizations have started the application of these two concepts in their work with blind and partially sighted persons. One such example is nomination of CRPD national champions by various organizations and CRPD coordinators by few regions. All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) is one of the member organizations of WBU which has not only nominated a CRPD national champion, but has also encouraged its associates and affiliates to nominate more champions at the organizational and branch levels to carry forward the struggle for equity and justice. The WBU that is committed to translate the legal commitments into measurable outcomes on the ground for the 285 million blind and partially sighted across the globe. It is evident that WBU alone cannot accomplish this huge task but requires sincere, conscious and honest efforts from each one of its member organizations. It is not the request of the WBU but the demand of 285 million blind and partially sighted persons to make the CRPD a document that has real impact in their lives. DISABILITY UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD Penny Hartin Presented on Low Vision Rehabilitation at the IAPB – EMR Conference on Low Vision in Qatar WBU CEO, Penny Hartin, was invited to present at the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Conference on Low Vision held in Doha Qatar from December 10 – 12, 2012. The conference brought together 57 participants from 19 EMR countries in the Middle East, Gulf States, Northern Africa and western Asia, as well as local, regional and international experts. The Objectives of the conference were to:  Review current status of Low Vision Rehabilitation Services LVR) in the region  Identify opportunities and bottlenecks to setting up of LVR Services  Determine Key Actions to facilitate alignment and integration of LVR services within comprehensive eye care services in existing health systems  Develop a Regional Strategy to promote LVR Services Over the course of the three days, strategies were developed in the areas of: the development of human resources, service delivery, early intervention, health information systems, networking, research and advocacy. Penny Hartin contributed in particular to the discussions related to Advocacy. She gave a presentation on the UNCRPD and its relevance to eye care. She provided a background to the UNCRPD, discussing its relevance and importance and reviewed a number of articles of particular relevance to blind and partially sighted persons and to the development and provision of low vision services. She also emphasized the opportunities for input at the implementation and monitoring stage at the national level and strongly encouraged conference participants to work closely with WBU member organizations to collaborate on implementation and monitoring strategies. NVDA Development Project Update $55,000 was raised from WBU member organizations from around the world to make its open source software available free online for those who are visually impaired. NVDA’s program is an open source speech software prototype that has many of the features of JAWS. It was developed by two young blind men from Australia, James Teh and Mick Curran whose goal has been to provide the speech software to improve accessibility for blind and partially sighted persons worldwide. At the WBU General Assembly in Bangkok a special fundraiser was held by Senator Monthian Buntan during the closing Gala dinner to raise funds to support the NVDA team and allow them to continue to expand the NVDA project. In total approximately $55,000 US was raised from these organizations: The Thailand Association of the Blind, National Federation of the Blind (USA), Vision Australia, La Organizacion Nacional de Ciegos Espanoles (ONCE), Royal National Institiute for the Blind (UK), German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV), Israel Association for Blind, The Christian Foundation for the Blind in Thailand, and Overbrook School for the Blind, all contributed generously in order to support the program. Here is a link to the NVDA website: http://www.nvda-project.org/ Beyond the Millennium Development Goals 2015 – Liberia’s position paper for inclusive approaches The article below is Liberia’s position paper on recommendations to be taken into consideration by the UN High Level Panel Committee during its meetings with Civil Society Organizations in Monrovia, Liberia, January 30th, 2013. The task of developing a political framework to promote accessibility for ordinary people, vulnerable groups and the elderly, extends also to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities, the youth and those living with HIV/AIDS. It Is our determination to influence policy makers to collectively agree on the adoption of an international agenda to address major global problems such as extreme poverty and hunger, the failure to guarantee the effective participation of all in the process of developing an inclusive framework that will ensure a human rights base approach, equality and non-discrimination. While we cannot deny the fact that the current millennium goals have improved many lives around the world, it is increasingly clear that little or no progress has been made positively to transform conductions of life of ordinary people, especially those living disabilities in developing countries where the economic and social situation is acutely devastating and life threatening. We are aware that there is a global consensus on the need for a stand-alone goal on equality and non-discrimination as well as several order provisions under each separate goal with commitment to ensure necessary imparts on people with disabilities and the consideration to include the collection of data and this aggregation of same for those with disabilities and the non-disabled. It may interest you to acknowledge that up to 15 per cent of the world population (an estimated one billion), are people with disabilities, and we are disproportionately found among those living below the absolute poverty line. We believe that persons with disabilities deserve the right to challenge discrimination and to be supported in the fight against poverty. It is our strongest conviction that the world sees the need to make our concern a key focus to the drive for a new sustainable development framework so as to enable a focus on the poorest of the poor, the least educated, the least empowered and the most marginalized persons with disabilities in particularly. Persons with disabilities face barriers to participation in society, such as in accessing development programs and funds, education, employment, health care, communication services. Individuals with disabilities and their families, of whom 80% live in developing countries, are over represented among those living in absolute poverty. Furthermore, they are particularly at risk to effects of climate change such as natural disasters and food insecurity. They are also more vulnerable in situations of conflicts. According to the UN system task team report on the 2015 agenda, the MDGS (Millennium Development Goals) have not reached the poorest and most marginalized people. The exclusion and invisibility of persons with disabilities are indicative of how the framework fails. This has been compounded by a lack of reliable statistics on persons with disabilities. They face discrimination on multiple levels yet remain absent in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the MDGS. As we congratulate you, Your Excellence Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the republic of Liberia, for your preferment as Co-chair of the UN High Level Panel Committee charged with the responsibility to review the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGS), we are pleased to advance the following recommendations for consideration in the post 2015 development agenda process: 1. That the current understanding and definition of poverty be revised so that its goes beyond income consumption and wealth 2. That the new development framework becomes inclusive of persons with disabilities and compliant with the convention on the rights and dignity of person with disabilities and that all goals be inclusive of person with disabilities and that there be specific indicators related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities within each of the goals ( refer to article 32 on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities), which aims to promote the right and full and effective participation of persons with disabilities by supporting the work of representative organizations of disabled people. 3. Mechanisms should be put in place to ensure the effective participation of organizations of persons with disabilities at every stage of the process and ensure revision of overseas development assistance to include disability related markers. Additionally, any new global partnerships must include persons with disabilities in their international cooperation efforts: 4. That the global framework must obligate governments to promote sustainable development policies that support inclusive housing and social services, safe and healthy living environment for all, particularly persons with disabilities as provided for in paragraph 135 of the Rio+20 outcome document. This is to advance the vision expressed by the UN task team which rests on the core universal values of human rights, equality and sustainability. Tibet in Blind People's Eyes Exhibit From 3rd Dec to 7th Dec, photographs taken by blind people were exhibited in "Art 8", a quadrangle block in Beijing. These photos were taken by visually impaired Tibetans and 2 visually impaired "nonvisual photography" trainers from One Plus One (Beijing) Disabled Persons' Cultural Development Centre. Many people including NGO staff, journalists, students, and artists came to the exhibition paid high interest and respect to it. During 12th to 20th Dec, with the support from the French Embassy, Handicap International and Tibetan Blind Association, trainers from One Plus One (Beijing) Disabled Persons' Cultural Development Centre went to Tibet and gave nonvisual photography training to nine visually impaired Tibetans. During the training, the trainees got to know how to use a camera and skills to take photos without eyesight; what we called "nonvisual photography". After the training, all of them had successfully taken a lot of photos, which was the goal of the training. With the help of their volunteers, they selected several pictures for the exhibition. Ciren Zhaxi is one of the trainees, one of the photographs taken by him he relied on his hearing. It was named "Pigeons in Potala Square". Deqing Yuzhen loves to touch, when touched a beautiful flower, she quickly took a photo. Killa uses photos to tell the visitors that although she couldn't see, she can take photos. Qiangba Jiacuo took a photograph of a piece of trash behind a beautiful post. He wanted everyone to love the environment no matter whether the trash can be seen or not. Sun He, the organizer from Handicap International, said: “The exhibition is very successful, trainees from Tibet uses photos to express what they want to say to the others. These photos will be exhibited later in other places". One Plus One (Beijing) Disabled Persons' Cultural Development Centre has given many rounds of trainings to students in blind schools, universities and from the society. It has also held several exhibitions with different partners. Many photos taken by visually impaired artists impressed the visitors a lot. Xie Yan, director of One Plus One said that he would like to give more trainings to more visually impaired people, and hope by this way, the society can understand the blind more. Struggle of a Sightless Visionary By Dr. Victor John Cordeiro, Advocacy Coordinator-World Blind Union Nandini envisions for an inclusive society with no discrimination, violence and abuse against women/girls particularly those with disabilities. She works with ActionAid, a development agency known for its direct engagement with the most marginalized sections of society, addressing the structural causes of exclusion in order to up root injustice and inequities. She has been blind since birth, the cause diagnosed as retinitis pigmentosa. Nandini belongs to a remote village of Karnataka in the southern part of India. Her parents admitted her to a school for the blind at the age of three. Within two years she returned to her grandmother for eye treatment. An ophthalmologist starts treating her in the nearby city. She gained some sight as a result of three years of rigorous treatment. However, tragedy struck when the ophthalmologist died just before one year of the completion of the treatment which is an added blow to her progress. She went to Bangalore with some hope and got admission in a regular government primary school. She did well both in curricular and extracurricular activities in school, but the Headmaster asked her to leave the school on the basis of her disability when she was in fourth class due to petty politics. Nandini approached education minister of Karnataka to fight against the discriminatory attitude of the school. This enabled her to continue education till seventh class. Nandini said with courage of conviction “I am an activist since birth and have been resisting discrimination and exclusion both in my personal and professional capacity even today”. She beat the attempt of the school administration to obstruct her writing the seventh class board examination with the help of scribe, which would have blocked her ability to enter high school. Unfortunately, she has to resist discrimination not only from the larger society but also from her own family simply because she is blind. Nandini met with people from the National Association for the Blind and other agencies of blind and partially sighted persons. Meeting fellow like-minded visually impaired Indians boosted her morale to combat injustice and exclusion in an organized and systematic manner. Although she was a first rank student in her studies up to master’s degree; her own college failed to recognize her excellent academic achievements in the recruitment process for a lecturer and refused Nandini even though she came first among 200 candidates. She then came into contact with the All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) (a member of World Blind Union) who recruited her as regional coordinator for promoting empowerment of blind or partially sighted women and girls. She capitalized this opportunity to combat discrimination, injustice, abuse and violence against marginalized women and girls and proved her potential as an effective activist. Nandini’s honest and hardworking efforts result in her promotion to a national coordinator. Her strategic interventions and effective mobilization efforts resulted in systemic and policy changes with regard to education, livelihoods, and accessibility to election process for blind or partially sighted persons through the issue of executive orders. She facilitated a workshop for blind and partially sighted women on violence, abuse and harassment for one week in Tajikistan at the request of Asian Blind Union. Nandini presented papers on the relevant issues in the international forums organized by WBU. After three years of intensive work with AICB, she got a post in the department of defense, within the government. The indifferent and discriminatory attitudes that kept her jobless in the past compelled her to leave this job voluntarily to go work for ActionAid (an international advocacy organization, devoted to fighting for the rights of marginalized people). Presently Nandini is in charge of promoting rights of women including women and girls with disabilities. Nandini writes, composes and sings revolutionary songs in order to mobilize women and girls in general, and those with disabilities in particular, towards the struggle for equity and justice within Indian society. Nandini’s message is very clear and loud “Unless we learn to resist discrimination and exclusion as an individual with disability, there is no end to it”. Nandini is a true visionary whose struggle for identity, equal existence and a life with dignity is a real motivation and inspiration to all those who suffer discrimination particularly those women and girls who are blind or partially sighted. From the IDA Dec. Bulletin: Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review On 14 December, the UN General Assembly adopted the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) with disability-specific language. The QCPR is a key guiding document for the work of the UN agencies that are active in the area of development; it sets the framework within which the strategic plans operate for the next 4 years (2013 onward). Operative paragraph 23 directs UN agencies to take the needs of persons with disabilities into account in all operational activities for development, including in the Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). It also mandates development agencies to disability and development, and to strengthen coherence in this regard. Link to the related document: QCPR Report (A/67/442/Add.1) ANNOUNCEMENTS A Win-win Situation for NAPB and WBU We are grateful to the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted for their direct mail campaign sent out to donors in the fall which raised $100,000 (US amount) for the World Blind Union. This campaign also raised money for NABP. The direct mail campaign focused on an international issue of the need of blind children and the response was overwhelming. There are many generous people in Norway who want to help work that will have an international impact. We thank Lief Wen Jensen, Arnt Holte, and Gunnar Haugsveen, NAPB Executive Director for their commitment to this campaign. More such fund raising partnerships are currently being considered and we look forward to working with other member organizations with similar campaigns that benefit both the work of the WBU and our members. Sudden death of Inclusive Planet Founder, Rahul Cherian We were shocked and saddened to hear that Rahul Cherian Jacob, from WBU International member from India Inclusive Planet, had died February 7th, after a short illness. Rahul had been a central figure in WBU's campaign for a WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) treaty to get better access to books. He had become a great friend to many of us, as well as highly valued colleague. We relied greatly on his wise counsel and encouragement. Rahul really cared about his work to help improve disabled people's rights, and was a campaigning force to be reckoned with. As a person, there was so much to like about Rahul! He was a happy, fun-loving, positive, generous, funny and intelligent man. WBU will do all that we can to make sure we do win the campaign Rahul was so central to; getting a treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organisation for print disabled people. We will double our efforts to succeed in that endeavour, and when we get there we will have done so in Rahul's honour. We send our heartfelt condolences to Rahul's wife Anjana and to all those who knew Rahul. John Wilson, WBU Lifetime Member, has passed away. For more than three decades John was at the helm of the Association for the Blind, which became Vision Australia Foundation in 1999 and was one of the four organisations that merged to form Vision Australia in 2004. John joined AFTB as company secretary in 1953 and retired as executive director in 1984. His concerted and considerable efforts during 32 years of leadership brought major transformation and innovation, modernising the organisation’s business practises and bringing in government funding to facilitate consistency and extension of service delivery. John was also a prominent Australian contributor to the international blindness movement and was made a life member of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, now the World Blind Union. John’s life is an inspiring example of the difference the efforts of one person can make for many others. More Sad News of a Passing Colleague We heard from Sweden that Erik Staaf has passed away. He was responsible for international relations for the Swedish Association of the Blind, and coordinated their support in developing countries. Erik also sat on the WBU Development Committee for several years. “He was a good friend of mine.” Arte Holte commented on his loss. RESOURCES Joint World Blind Union and the AMD Alliance International Campaign Brief The loss of eyesight is something that can take place at any time in one’s life. The occurrence of vision loss increases as we age, with senior citizens becoming more vision impaired due to developing a range of eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration. Knowing these eye diseases were increasing in the aging population, the WBU commissioned a report on the status of elderly persons and presented this to the WBU officers in 2011. We have this report on our website resources section (Aging and Visual Impairment Report) and you can link to it here: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/resources/Pages/General-Documents.aspx . The action we took resulting from the findings in the report prompted us to work more closely with organizations providing services to the elderly who are experiencing visual impairment. WBU has chosen to work with the AMD Alliance in order to reach people being affected by this disease. Our joint campaign was launched at the WBU General Assembly in Bangkok last November and comprises a digital resource of information, good practice guidance and links to help in the planning of services. Resources include: guidance on demographics, involving older blind people in service planning, working in partnership with other organizations, raising awareness of the consequences of age-related sight loss, how to address social isolation amongst older blind people and planning low cost low vision services. These are all available in multiple formats (large print and high contrast) by linking to the website: http://amdalliance.org/wbu/ Resource Generation Working Group The RGWG held a fund development seminar in February 2013 that provided ideas for member organizations looking for new ways of raising funds through direct marketing. This seminar was aimed at organizations with mature fund raising methodology already in place. This first RGWG seminar will help to shape future seminars that would be offered in other WBU regions. Results of the seminar will be posted on our website on the committee’s page in March: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/our-work/committee-and-working-group/Pages/default.aspx CRPD – New Link on UN Web Site The UN Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has a section on the UN website that links to country reports that spell out how it is being implemented in the various countries that have signed on and ratified the convention. Members can search for their own country report by going to this link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/Sessions.aspx The World Braille Foundation Announces a New Scholarship In honour of the late Dr. Gerald Dirks, a scholarship has been created in his name to be provided annually to qualifying candidates from the African Union members. More information about eligibility for this scholarship can be found on our WBU website under our Resources - Scholarships section: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/resources/Pages/Scholarships.aspx International Networking Site for Disabled Youth is launched International Network for Disabled Youth, known as INDYspace (www.indyspace.org), is an online network dedicated to connecting young disabled people aged 16-30 from around the world. Funded by Oxfam Australia through their Oxfam International Youth Partnerships (OIYP) programme, is the first of its kind in bringing young disabled people together on a global level. The founders of the website, Erin Gough from New Zealand and Zara Todd from the United Kingdom, who first met at an Oxfam international youth conference two years ago, embody the site mission of enabling young disabled people to work together across borders. For more information on INDYspace, visit www.indyspace.org, www.facebook.com/indyspace or email info@indypsace.org 2013 CONFERENCE NOTICES April 17th - the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities announced it will be holding discussions on women and girls with disabilities at its upcoming sessions in April. The discussion will take place 17 April from 12 – 6pm. The Committee welcomes written submissions from civil society, particularly from DPOs, on strengthening the protection of human rights of women and girls with disabilities. Submissions should not exceed 10 pages and should be sent in word format no later than 30 March to crpd@ohchr.org. For further details please visit the Committee’s website where information is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese. April 18 to 20 - American Foundation for the Blind’s 2013 Leadership Conference takes place in Chicago, Illinois, USA www.afb.org/AFBLC April 29 & 30 - Pacific Rim Int’l Conference on Disability & Diversity tales place in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA with the theme: Being in Community. To learn more: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/ May 30 & 31 - NNDR Symposia will take place in Turku, Finland. Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR) and Finnish Association of Disability Research. For more information on the conference visit http://nndr2013.fi/ June 6 & 7 M-Enabling Summit in Washington DC, USA: http://www.m-enabling.com/ June 11 to 13 - The European Union Supported Employment Conference will take place in Dublin, Ireland. Theme: “Building an Inclusive Europe through Supported Employment” A call for papers and details to follow: http://www.eusedublin2013.com/ June 13 & 14, The Danish National Library for Persons with Print Disabilities is organizing an international conference “Future Publishing and Accessibility” in cooperation with The Ministry of Culture of Denmark and The DAISY Consortium. The conference will be held in Copenhagen. We are anticipating 400 attendees from different countries around the world. The conference will focus on who is to guarantee future accessibility for users with special needs. We encourage user organizations to use an online forum and ask questions which we will pass on to some of the keynotes. The online forum will be available from March. www.newpubcph.org July 1 to 6 - National Federation of the Blind’s National Convention will take place at the Rosen Centre Hotel, 9840 International Drive, Orlando, Florida 32819, Reservations: Call (800) 204-7234 website: https://nfb.org/national-convention July 4 to 12 - American Council of the Blind’s, 2013 Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Theme: ACB Discovering New Worlds: link to website http://www.acb.org/node/995 2014 Events March 31st to April 4th, 2014 -the next Low Vision Conference will be in Melbourne, Australia. They have already created a website for this event: http://www.vision2014.org/ NEWS FROM THE REGIONS AFRICA http://www.afut-uafa.org Congratulations to Jace Nair who is the new Regional President for Africa. The other elected officers for this region are:  Mr. Jace Nair, President & Regional Representative, South Africa  Ms. Odette Juimo, Vice President & Chair of AFUB Women’s Committee, Cameroon  Mr. Frederick Haga, Regional Representative, East Africa, Kenya  Mr. Yaw Ofori Debra, Regional Representative, West Africa, Ghana  Mr. Paul Tezanou, Regional Representative, Central Africa, Cameroon  Mr. Mohamed Bouh Salem, Regional Representative, North Africa, Mauritania Mr. Julius Kamya from Uganda has been appointed to the position of Executive Director of AFUB. He will be starting on March 1st, 2013. Julius has wide experience and considerable qualifications related to the management of organizations working in the field of disability rights and advocacy. We look forward to working with Julius to improve the status of blind and partially sighted people across the continent. The former president of the Association for the Promotion and Social Integration of Blind and Partially Sighted in Benin, Mr. Elie Ayilo passed away in November in his 55 year. He served as president of APISAAB for 17 years. Our thanks for his many years of service in his country. The past president of the Nigeria Association of the Blind, Mr. Stephen Ayagwa, has passed away. A youth team member, a blind law student, Ndubisi Azubike, also passed away. Our condolences to their families and all who worked with them to improve the life of blind people in Nigeria. ASIA http://www.abunion.org No report available ASIA-PACIFIC http://wbuap.org/index/ Ms Michiko Tabata is the new Region President for the Asia-Pacific Region. Congratulations Michiko. New legislative clause related to vocational rehabilitation in Mongolia for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) In June 2012, national programs supporting the employment of unemployed people in Mongolia were approved and started their implementation under the Law on Social Welfare of PWDs and Law on Welfare. The aforementioned programs contained a few provisions about the PWDs; however, Mongolian National Federation of the Blind (MNFB) made a proposal to develop a stand-alone program for supporting employment of PWD. Such proposal resulted in that the respective government agency established a working group with representatives of MNFB. So, the group completed its task and developed a program to support employment of PWDs, which became effective from 21 June 2012. The key goal of the program was to boost the employment of PWDs, receive project proposals aimed at increasing household income and providing financial support to projects equal to MNT 5- 50 billion, equal to US$3600- 36000. Development and implementation of the program was found to be an important event and milestone to increase the employment of PWDs. While acting in the working group, MNFB managed to reflect one clause related to PWDs, which was a clause on providing rehabilitation training for the PWDs for job preparedness. Such regulation has never existed in Mongolia before; therefore we consider that the new clause in the national program would be an important point for provision of necessary rehabilitation training to PWDs. EUROPE http://www.euroblind.org/ The Center for the Blind in Israel presented a Photo Exhibition showing nineteen portraits of distinctive blind people with outstanding achievements in visual arts, sport and the academic professions. The Mati Davidson Photo Exhibition: "Come from Within – Blind People without Borders" opened at the Gallery of the Tel Aviv Photographic Art Society at 12 Esther Hamalka on December 8, and ran to the 29th. The exhibition was dedicated to the memory of Arie Schmidt, a friend of the photographer, Mati Davidson. In the midst of a successful career as a college lecturer and Senior Computer Advisor at I.B.M. Israel, Arie lost his eyesight, but continued with his routine. In addition to his work, he dedicated himself to public activities in order to improve the quality of life of blind people in Israel. “During the last two years I have toured the country to find vigorous and active blind people like him”, said Mati. European Union’s Decision on Silent Cars Issue In a vote on 6 February, the European Parliament adopted an amendment requiring car manufacturers to equip their ‘silent’ cars with an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) which will ensure that these vehicles are heard by people with sight loss. Electric and hybrid, or so-called ‘silent’ cars are too quiet for blind people to detect them. The crash rate of silent vehicles is twice as high as that of cars with internal combustion engine in slow-speed manoeuvre conditions such as slowing, stopping, backing up and entering a parking space. All pedestrians are at risk but blind and partially sighted pedestrians are most at risk of experiencing collisions with quiet vehicles because they cannot see or hear them coming. This danger is expected to increase as sales of silent cars are set to grow. EBU President Wolfgang Angermann welcomed the decision taken by the European Parliament: “Blind and partially sighted people have a right to be out in the streets. Silent cars are dangerous and minimum noise levels to ensure our safety is paramount. I am happy to see that the European Parliament has listened to us. Now we want Member States to do the same and endorse this all important requirement.” The European Blind Union has been campaigning long and hard for the adoption of mandatory minimum noise requirements and will continue to do so. ONCE’s Support of Affordable Housing We at ONCE, and in partnership with the Spanish Third Sector Platform of which we are members together with the Disability movement, have been actively involved with the signing of an interesting agreement for launching a social housing plan offering properties at low rents to vulnerable groups of people. We have been trying successfully that the disability sector be included and those who have been evicted from their homes or cannot afford to have a house to live in. LATIN AMERICA http://ulacdigital.org/ Partnership between ULAC and ESVI-AL Project (Inclusive Post Secondary Virtual Education) Since February 11, 2013 ULAC was officially part of ESVI-AL Project. It is an initiative developed among ten universities (seven in Latin America and three in Europe) funded by the European Commission with the main objectives of: define methodology processes to design and implement virtual curricula in accessible virtual campus; move forward with the creation of a inclusive post secondary virtual education in Latin America; improve employability of people with disabilities in the region, and establish a cooperation network on accessibility in education and virtual society. ULAC, along with the World Disabled Peoples' International (DPI), the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and Virtual Education (VE), participates in this Project as collaborative partner. www.esvial.org ULAC Officers will Meet for the First time in Spain The Officers of ULAC will hold their first meeting of 2013 in Madrid, Spain, from May 22 – 24 in order to participate in the XV year anniversary celebration of FOAL. Their extensive agenda will cover important points of discussion, such as the strategic plan follow-up, call results for the production of ‘Latin America’ magazine, participation of ULAC important international events, and the achievements of different working groups already active, such as the Scientific-Technical Committee and the Constitution Committee. Launch of a new phase in “Latin America” magazine In this new term ULAC engages its editorial line in two complementary streams: one framed in the typhlological movement leading to organizational strengthening and the other one towards dissemination of knowledge and necessary instruments o materials required for the daily living of blind people in the region covering the fundamentals for their economic, social and political aspirations. This is why in the re-launch of the iconic ‘Latin America’ magazine they have sought to align its content, frequency, format and languages, issuing in this new phase of their organization new copies in Portuguese. The objective of this magazine is to continue being the vehicle that links the entire region and the world by communicating in each one of its articles the essence of the philosophy, principles and values of ULAC as an extension and seed of all its members. NORTH AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN No report available WBU OFFICERS Mr. Arnt Holte, President arnt.holte@blindeforbundet.no Dr. Frederic K. Schroeder, 1st Vice President fschroeder@sks.com Mr. Enrique Pérez, 2nd Vice President EPB@once.es Mrs. Rina Prasarani, Secretary General rinalamsyah@gmail.co Mr. A. K. Mittal, Treasurer akmittal@rediffmail.com Ms. Maryanne Diamond, Immediate Past President maryanne.diamond@visionaustralia.org REGIONAL PRESIDENTS AFRICA (AFUB) Mr. Jace Nair jace@sancb.org.za ASIA (ABU) Mr. Santosh Kumar Rungta santoshkumar.rungta@gmail.com ASIA PACIFIC (WBU-AP) Ms. Michiko Tabata tabacchi@par.odn.ne.jp EUROPE (EBU) Mr. Wolfgang Angerman w.angermann@dbsv.org LATIN AMERICA (ULAC) Mr. Volmir Raimondi presidencia@ulacdigital.org NORTH AMERICA/CARIBBEAN (WBU-NA/C) Mr. Charles Mossop charles.mossop@cnib.ca WBU STAFF Dr. Penny Hartin, Chief Executive Officer penny.hartin@wbuoffice.org Ms. Marianne McQuillan, Manager, Fund Development & Communications Marianne.mcquillan@wbuoffice.org Ms. Ianina Rodriguez, Administrative Assistant Ianina.rodriguez@wbuoffice.org Dr. Victor Cordeiro, Advocacy Coordinator adco.wbu@gmail.com The World Blind Union is registered in Canada as a charity in order to raise funds for our work. Donations can be made via the Donate Now button on the website. www.worldblindunion.org