Official Newsletter of the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific

No. 11



Contents of this issue:


From the Editor

The 11th World Blind Union Asia Pacific Regional Massage Seminar

Volunteers Sensitisation Programme

New Blindness and Low Vision Peer Support Group in Vanuatu

The Incheon Strategy

Danida Project Update

WBUAP Website fn Full Gear

Coming Up

Contact Details






If I remember correctly, the current team of editorial sent altogether 7 East Wind issues to the world. I was often way behind schedule, and although there are times when piles of works were waiting for me in my desktop PC at home, they cannot be any excuse: I said I will do so I should do all I can to do what must be done. Sincere apologies once again for all my delays.

It seems, though, that the name gEast Windh has become something we share with all our friends around the Region. I often hear people say gEast Windh whenever there is some remarkable event, or whenever we have new initiatives. I hope that it will become even more indispensable part of us all in the Asia Pacific Region— something we start from and something we come back to.

Thank you all who have been supporting our common platform, by contributing, by reading, by promoting, by sharing within your organization, by posting on to different websites.

This will be the last East Wind for the current quadrennium. After November, I might still be around editing, or someone new might come in, the future is yet to see. One thing for sure, that our East Wind will continue blowing proudly around the world.


Michiko Tabata: Editor-in-Chief

Editorial Committee: Ivan Ho Tuch Choy

Kevin Murfitt

Kim Mok













Zhu Gang

Chair, Regional Massage Commission


After more than one-yearfs preparing, the 11th World Blind Union Asia-Pacific Regional Massage Seminar is held successfully on May in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. There are almost 300 delegates who come from Asia Pacific Regions was studying and exchanging deeply regarding blind massage industry together.

The subject of the Seminar is gMassage for better health!h. In accordance with the former convention, this Seminar lasted for four days included registration, country report, paper exchange and workshop etc. The whole Seminar goes smoothly in a pleasant and orderly atmosphere which was benefited by the hardworking of stuffs from Malaysia Committee and the good organization from the authorized well-known local international affairs and public relations. The quantity of foreign participates is the top in this Seminar compare with previous Seminar, and it was also achieved strong support from Malaysia Government. The entire conference was adopted with 5 languages included Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean and Thai for simultaneous interpretation. Meanwhile, the committee built a specialist website for this Seminar, it provided conference registration, information downloading and updating. This achieved the interoperability of information and facilitate the participating members with good reflection.

During Seminar, paper exchange was launched around those subjects, such as gRecognition and Regulatory for BVI Massageh, gBVI Massage Techniques for specific medical conditionsh, gRebranding BVI Massage towards Entrepreneurshiph and gWay forward : International Collaboration for Advancementh. At the country report section, Participants introduced the latest developments of blind massage industry in their region/country and deepen mutual understanding between each member.

On the afternoon of 4th May, there come to the workshop exchange. The Committee set up some specialist area for Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan in accordance with the regions, they invited well-known massage expert from each country/area to monitor the workshop, and it attracted lots of people to observe and experience. Mr. Hou Yi, an expert from China, Changsha Yeahcome Massage Hospital took part in this workshop exchange, and he also gives a speech on the first day of Seminar with subject: Iliopsoas Soft Tissue Release operation applied in lumbago massage treatment. This technology give the new concept of the junction of anatomy and therapeutics, it is also the typical representative of scientific, modernization, Visualization of TCM. After the Seminar, the organization arranged massage shop visiting in Kuala Lumpur nearby, which help to give us a deeper understanding of local massage market.

Discussed by the Board of Director Meeting, Mr. Zhu Gang from China Hunan Yeahcome Health Care Ltd., Co was nominated as the Chairman of World Blind Union Asia-Pacific Regional Massage Commission again and obtained unanimously. Datof Dr Hsiung Kwo Yeun from Malaysia (President, Sarawak Society for the Blind) and Mr. Ryousuke Fujii from Japan are elected as Vice-Chairman. It also nominated Mr. Ken Adachi (Blind massage teacher) from Japan and Ms. Norimah (owner of blind massage shop) was as board member. Meanwhile, the Board of Directorfs meeting decided to hold the 12th WBUAP Massage Seminar in Thailand, and the next BOD meeting will be held on November, 2012.

When globalization deepens increasingly, international exchanges and cooperation is particularly important. The World Blind Union 11th Asia-Pacific Regional Massage Seminar turns out to be fruitful. Following the successes of the g2011 Asia Pacific Regional Blind Medical Massage Instructors' International Training Programh, the trainees response good, thus, our Commission members proposal to continue this type of international training courses to meet the needs of more blind masseurs. On other hand, we consider to carry out gtour trainingh in various countries, that means to organize those senior massage specialists from each countries/areas with interesting subject which leading by the Massage Commission. And suggest compiling some relatively uniform massage materials, for a better guide to the blind training. In addition, considering establish the criterion for the Asia-Pacific regional blind massage and promote the development of Asia Pacific blind massage enterprise, to select the best demonstration of blind massage shop in the region, helping them to further regulate the standards under the premise of its certification and award of the gAsia-Pacific Massage demonstration shop of WBUAP Regional Massage Commissionh.

The above ideas are all unanimously support and look forward to create relationships of equality further based on massage seminar, friendship and solidarity, and a harmonious society, to encourage the majority of blind self-improvement, and strive to improve themselves, and give full play to their enthusiasm and creativity force, with the able-bodied people to work together to create a happy life and bright future belongs to us all!





Wong Yoon Loong

Regional Communications Coordinator


The Malaysian Sports and Recreation Council for Persons with Disabilities designed and carried out the Volunteers Sensitisation Programme throughout Malaysia between May and July 2012 for the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The objective is to equip the volunteers with knowledge and experience in interacting with athletes with disabilities. The volunteers who attended this programme will be recruited to assist in sports programmes for persons with disabilities.

There were a total of 7 programmes with each programme attended by about 100 volunteers who are Community-Based Rehabilitation workers, special education teachers and social workers in their mid-twenties and thirties. The programme covers topics such as:

·   The unique characteristics of each category of disabilities

·   Tips on interacting with persons with disabilities

·   Access to public facilities based on the principles of universal design

·   Malaysian Disabilities Act

·   Sports development for persons with disabilities.

This programme is entirely designed and carried out by persons with disabilities supported by their non-disabled friends. We hope to extend this programme to include volunteers/staff of other Government Agencies/Departments in the future. Our hope is to develop a pool of volunteers who are able to assist and support persons with disabilities in their daily lives.





Kevin Murfitt


Willie Sablan, a blind person who lost his sight recently, has been assisted by Disabled Persons Association Vanuatu (DPAV)  to form a blind and low vision group in Vanuatu. Vanuatu was the first country in the Pacific to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disability (CRPD) and  the commitment is starting to see emerging groups of people with disability who want to be involved in empowering others with disability to gain access and inclusion in their communities.

Willie and his group are wanting assistance with screenreaders and other international peer support so I have linked them up with the www.wbuap.org web site and will provide them with NVDA software etc.

A short note from Nelly Caleb, Executive Officer of Disabled Persons Association Vanuatu:

eWillie Sablan who is the chair of this BPA is the head of a newly formed theater group which was established 10. June 2011 last year right after the 3 days training on CRPD in Port  Vila . This theater group name Rainbow theater Group had attached with the Vanuatu One Smol Bag theater. So Willie  Sablan  and his committee plus 7 people with physical  disability  are members of  the Rainbow theater group.

They do advocacy awareness on CRPD articles  through dramas, theater  in schools and communities, itfs an eye opener to the public, main actors  are Willie Sablan (vision impaired) and Silverio (low Vision) DPA would like to thank AUSAID for assisting in their advocacy awareness. Thank you to Wan Smol Bag for assisting them to stand on their own,





Ivan Ho Tuck Choy


UNESCAP, comprising around 53 Member States in the Asia-Pacific Region, confirmed on 23 May 2012 the proclamation of a new Asian and Pacific Decade for Persons with Disabilities for the period from 2013 to 2022 through the adoption of a historic resolution. The resolution was sponsored by the Government of the Republic of South Korea and co-sponsored by the Governments of Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Solomon Islands and Thailand, was unanimously passed.

If everything goes according to plan, there will be a High-Level Intergovernmental Meeting (HLIGM) on the final review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2003-2012, convened by UNESCAP from 29 October to 2 November 2012 in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The HLIGM, which is being hosted by the Government of the Republic of Korea, is expected to adopt an outcome document entitled the "Incheon Strategy to Make the Right Real for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific." If no further amendments or additions are made to the document at this said meeting, it will usher in the Third Decade for Persons with Disabilities in the Asia and Pacific Region, 2013-2022.

The development of the draft Incheon Strategy was derived from the experiences in the implementation of two consecutive Asian and Pacific Decades of Disabled Persons, 1993-2002 and 2003-2012, as well as the historic adoption by the United Nations in 2006 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The drafting of the Incheon Strategy benefited from the inputs of governments, disabled people's organisations and other key stakeholders. It drew from the feedback obtained through regional forums, including the Committee on Social Development at its second session (Bangkok, 19-21 October 2010), and the Regional Stakeholders Consultation for the HLIGM on the Final Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2003-2012, (Bangkok, 14-16 December 2011).

When the draft of the Incheon Strategy was released after the 14-16 Bangkok Meeting, some of the 15 Civil Society Organisations (CSO's) recognised by UNESCAP felt that their in-puts were not adequately incorporated into the document. Consequently, the 15 CSO's were invited by Rehabilitation International AP to go to Seoul from 5-7 March to come up with a Consolidated Statement for the HLIGM on the final review from 14-16 March 2012. Due to the short notice and funding issue, only six CSO's, including WBUAP, were present. WBUAP was represented at this meeting by the President, Dato' S. Kulasegaran, and the Secretary General, Ivan Ho. Members at this meeting drew up a Consolidated Statement for the Preparatory HLIGM on 14-16 March 2012. On the eve of this meeting in Bangkok, the CSO's held a last-minute meeting to allow the CSO's which did not attend the Seoul Meeting to have their say. The Meeting lasted from 2 to 8 pm without a break for refreshments, the 15 CSO's were in total agreement to present the Consolidated Statement and to speak with one voice at the Preparatory HLIGM the following 3 days.

The draft of the Incheon Strategy at this Preparatory Meeting was again revised with additions and subtractions by the Governments and CSO's. At the intervention of Sen. Monthian Buntan who led the Thai Government delegation at the Preparatory HLIGM, the 15 CSO's will again have the last opportunity to have their views heard before the adoption at the October meeting.

Similar to the Millennium Development Goals, the Incheon goals, targets and indicators are time bound for accelerating implementation by focusing particular attention on the achievements of a set of priority goals and targets during the course of the new decade, 2013-2022, as well as facilitating the measurement of progress to be attained by Asia and the Pacific. The Incheon Goals and Targets (INGOTS), is the core component of the Incheon Strategy comprising goals, targets and indicators. The 10 goals are:

1.       Reduce poverty and enhance work and employment prospects.

2.       Promote participation in political processes and decision-making.

3.       Enhance access to the physical environment, public transportation, knowledge and information and communication.

4.       Strengthen social protection.

5.       Expand early intervention and education of children with disabilities.

6.       Ensure gender equality and women's empowerment.

7.       Ensure disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction.

8.       Improve disability data reliability and comparability.

9.       Accelerate the ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and harmonisation of national legislation with the Convention.

10.   Advance sub-regional, regional and inter-regional Co-operation.





Michiko Tabata


Here is another update of the DANIDA/ WBUAP Capacity Building Project going on with the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind and the Lao Association of the Blind, from the beginning of the year 2012.

·     Training of trainers for Orientation & Mobility training: As part of the social empowerment activities, MNFB and LAB hosted the Training of Trainers of Orientation and Mobility training. MNFB welcomed Professor Steve LeGrove from New Zealand and conducted a 3-week intensive training in Ulaan Baator. LAB received Mr. Chalam Yam-iam from Thailand and conducted two training sessions, one for O&M and the other for Daily Living Skills, and the LAB trainers started providing training to blind people of Lao PDR including those living in rural areas where the organization recently registered their new branches.

·     LAB succeeded in officially registering their new branches in the provinces of Champassak and Xiengkhouang.

·     MNFB branches have been conducting various unique activities within the framework of the Small Scale Fund, such as making TV series showing the needs of the blind people in the province that were broadcast on local TV, and capacity development program for local branch management.

·     There have been a number of other training seminars and workshops, including a workshop training on CRPD and training on organizational development for new chapters of LAB; and the Business Development Seminar, fundraising training and national advocacy training by MNFB.

·     The two organizations are working hard to strengthen financial sustainability. MNFB started production work of audio books for sale. LAB called for donations at public celebration events.

·     The two organizations are increasing their exposure to the general public. LAB has been leading the way in organizing public celebration events involving government officials. MNFB organized its first Sun Cup Award, in which the general public was involved in the process of award receivers and the whole activity was aimed at the promotion of humanitarian activities.

·     There have been 2 monitoring visits so far from the project coordination side: to LAB in January and to MNFB in August- September. The visits covered meetings with leaders of local provincial chapters of the two organizations, and provided excellent and precious opportunities to meet them and learn their ideas, needs and challenges.






With the fund from the DANIDA/WBUAP Capacity Building Project, we now have the website of our region running in its full gear. The website has sections on CRPD, information on funding opportunities, news and upcoming events, as well as basic information about our region such as constitution and the Board and Policy Council members. The website also has a very useful function of gSubscribe to Postsh, which enables you to receive e-mail notices whenever there is a new posting simply by entering your e-mail address. Visit the website now and join us at: http://wbuap.org. We are looking forward to your active participation!








On behalf of the Local Organizing Committee, it is my great pleasure to extend a warm invitation to you, your colleagues, and your family to join The World Blind Union 8th General Assembly: WBU GA, International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment General Assembly: ICEVI GA to be held here in Bangkok, Thailand on November 8-18, 2012.

During the event you will experience not only the update knowledge and technology you will also be provided International Blind Music Festival every evening during November 12-15, 2012 at Benjasiri park where is next to Imperial Queen's Park hotel, the event venue.

This stage will be for international and local blind musicians. The venue will be opened for the public. For who are interested to be one of the musicians please feel free to contact wbu.icevi@gmail.com within July 15, 2012 would be appreciated.

And we are collecting the blind story in various aspects and will be broadcasted through TV program during July until December. The stories from abroad are also welcomed.

Regarding the side events, many organizations both from local and abroad will arrange their own dinner and activity in the evening of November 12-15, 2012 and will be on first come first serve basis for the limited seats. Please follow up the program on our event's website www.wbu-icevi2012.org and also please note that our online registration is until September 30, 2012 only.

We look forward to welcoming all of you.

Senator Monthian Buntan

First Vice President, Thailand Association of the Blind

Chairman of Local organizing committee for the WBU-ICEVI 2012




We Are Waiting for Your Contributions!!

Send in your writingscreports, essays, poems, commentary, just about anything, that you might want to share with your friends and colleagues in the Region.


Your Donations Is Always Welcome!!

Help us make a difference of what it means to be blind. Your donations will help our international blindness movement in particular from our friends in less economically privileged circumstances.

Your generous contribution is very much appreciated. Please note that, following the election of our new Treasurer, we have our new USD account in Australia.

Please direct your payment to:

National Australia Bank

Bank Address: 330 Collins Street , Melbourne, Australia

BSB: 083-004

Account Number: WBUAPUSD01

Swift Code: NATAAU3303M

Name: World Blind Union – Asia Pacific






President, WBUAP

Datof Sabalatnam Kulasegaran

E-mail: ncftb@po.jaring.my

National Council for the Blind, Malaysia

94B Jalan Tun Sambanthan

50470 Kuala Lumpur




Michiko Tabata

E-mail: tabacchi@par.odn.ne.jp

National Committee of Welfare for the Blind in Japan

E-mail: ncwbj@mbm.nifty.com

2-18-2 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-0051 Japan


Secretary General:

Ivan Ho Tuck Choy

E-mail: ncftb@po.jaring.my

National Council for the Blind, Malaysia

94B Jalan Tun Sambanthan

50470 Kuala Lumpur



East Asia Sub-Region

Michiko Tabata


Pacific-Oceania Sub-Region

Kevin Murfitt

E-mail: Kevin.murfitt@visionaustralia.org

3-6 Allambee Ave

Camberwell, Victoria, 3124 Australia


South East Asia Sub-Region

Datof Sabalatnam Kulasegaran