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  • Sabtu, 16 April 2011


    Dear Colleagues:

    As you will recall from articles in the WBU E-Bulletin and the Educator, for the past two years the ICEVI and WBU have been working collaboratively with the IAPB through the establishment of the Vision Alliance, which has its objective to enhance opportunities for cooperation and synergy among our organizations. One of these areas of cooperation has been discussions around the possibility of holding the General Assemblies of both WBU and ICEVI at the same time and in the same place. This discussion came about following the need for ICEVI to cancel its assembly planned for Bangkok Thailand in 2010, their subsequent decision to move their General Assembly year to 2012 and the plans that WBU had already commenced to look at Bangkok as a possible venue for its own General Assembly in 2012.

    The result of these discussions is that the WBU and ICEVI have agreed to hold a joint event in November 2012 that will include the General Assemblies of both organizations as well as two days of overlapping programs that will enable our two organizations and our members to work even more closely together and to build on opportunities for information sharing and cooperation.

    We can assure you that this decision was not taken lightly. Preliminary discussions were held in August of 2010 during a Vision Alliance meeting in Bangkok. These were followed by discussions with the Executives of both WBU and ICEVI in November and December which both voted unanimously to continue to pursue the possibility of planning a cooperative event. A joint planning meeting was held in Bangkok with representatives of ICEVI, WBU and our local host, the Thai Association of the Blind, and based on the recommendation that came out of that meeting, the principal officers of both ICEVI and WBU made the final decision to move forward with a cooperative event.

    While both WBU and ICEVI will continue to hold their General Assemblies, the format of these events will change slightly. That is particularly the case for ICEVI who will no longer hold its large World Congress in conjunction with its General Assembly, but will rather put more emphasis on its Regional Conferences for the presentation of papers.

    Overall, this is what the WBU and ICEVI General Assembly events will look like:

     The entire event takes place over the period of November 10 to 18, 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. Some events are specific to WBU, some will be specific to ICEVI members and there will be overlapping days that will be attended by members of both organizations. We want members from both organizations to feel welcome to attend the events of the other, and this will be facilitated by special registration fees for those who decide to participate in the entire series of events
     November 10 – 11: WBU Diversity Forum
     November 12 – 16: WBU General Assembly
     November 15 – 18: ICEVI meetings and General Assembly
     November 15 – 16 will be joint program days where we will have joint sessions for both WBU and ICEVI participants for most of that two day period
     November 17 will be a joint strategy day with ICEVI and WBU related to EFAVI
     November 18 the ICEVI General Assembly will be held

    This is an overview of the program structure with detailed programming to follow to include times for the Executive Committees of both organizations to meet, and for formal closing of the WBU General Assembly which will take place on the Friday afternoon. This outline is essentially intended to give you an understanding of how the two General Assemblies and associated meetings will be structured. We will also hold a joint gala dinner as well as a joint technology exhibit.

    We hope that the members of our two organizations are as excited as we are about this collaborative event. We believe that it will provide an excellent opportunity for organizations of blind persons, for service providers and educators to come together for mutual sharing and learning. We believe that we will be able to attract some excellent speakers of international caliber for our joint sessions and that technology exhibitors will be eager to participate. We also recognize that many of our members traditionally attend both WBU and ICEVI events and will therefore be able to take advantage of these joint activities. We also anticipate a positive reaction from organizations that traditionally sponsor delegates to both events.

    Over the coming months you will hear much more from us about the programs, and the local arrangements. The time will pass quickly and it is now less than 20 months when we will meet in Bangkok.
    We look forward to seeing you there.

    With warm regards,

    Lord Colin Low Mrs. Maryanne Diamond
    President ICEVI President WBU