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World Blind Union

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World Blind Union

Country: International
National Headquarters: Office of the Secretary General

C/Almansa 66 28039 Madrid SPAIN

Company Head: Mark Maurer
Date Founded: 1984

The World Blind Union (WBU) is the only organization entitled to speak on behalf of blind and partially sighted persons of the world, representing 162 million blind and visually impaired persons from about 600 different organizations in 158 countries. The WBU is a non-political, non-religious, non-governmental and non-profit-making organization.



The WBU was founded in 1984 at a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The WBU was a combination of two former organizations, the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind (1949), organization of agencies for the blind, and the International Federation of the Blind (1964), an organization of blind consumers.[1]

General Congress

General assemblies of the World Blind Union occur every four years.

1st General Congress

  • 1984
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2nd General Congress

  • 1988
  • Madrid, Spain

3rd General Congress

  • 1992
  • Cairo, Egypt

4th General Congress

  • 1996
  • Toronto, Canada

Beginning in 1996, a forum for blind women has taken place immediately before the general assembly.

5th General Congress

  • November 20-24, 2000
  • Melbourne, Australia

6th General Congress

  • December 6-10, 2004
  • Cape Town, South Africa

7th General Congres

  • August 15-23, 2008
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Slogan: Being blind in the World - Equality and Diversity


  1. Maurer, Mark. "World Blind Union Fifth General Assembly." National Federation of the Blind. March 2001. Accessed on February 25, 2008.

External Links