Official Newsletter of the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific

No. 12



Please visit the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific website!




Contents of this issue:


From the Editor

From the President

Introducing the members of the WBUAP joint Board and Policy Council 2012-2016

Report from the World Blind Union/Asia Pacific Employment, Economic and Empowerment Committee

News from Pacific-Oceania sub-region

Disability Care Australia

DANIDA Project Update

Miracle In Marrakesh: "Historic" Treaty For Visually Impaired Agreed

President of the Philippines Blind Union-A Biography

Blind Sculptors, Ice Breakers

News from Thailand Association of the blind

The 1st Thailand International Braille Reading and Writing Contest

Upcoming Conferences and Events

Contact Details




From the Editor


On behalf of the Editorial Team, I would like to say that we are humbled to be entrusted with the responsibility to publish the East Wind for the term 2013-2016. We plan to publish this magazine which is the voice of the blind and visually impaired in the Asia-Pacific Region twice each year i.e. in January and July. 

 This is our magazine. The success of this publication very much depends on each and every one of us sharing news/information or personal stories. So please feel free to send in your contribution. The contact information for all the members of the Editorial Team can be found at the end of this magazine.


Happy reading.


Wong Yoon Loong

Chair, Editorial Committee




From the President


We have the pleasure of welcoming the latest East Wind, the first of our Regional newsletters in this quadrennium and under the leadership of the new Editorial Board. Please update your colleagues around the region on what is going on around you, by submitting your writings to our Editorial Board, so that they will not have time for rest!

 We have entered the fourth quadrennium as WBUAP Region, and thanks to the past presidents and other leaders, our Regional Union is growing and developing steadily. I am very happy to inform all the readers that the current Board and Policy Council members are full of ideas and actions and passion, all looking forward to working for the region and for blind and partially sighted people.

 The Asia Pacific Region still has a long way to go. I am afraid a world without problems is not easy to realize. But with our dedication and commitment, with ideas and creativity, with passion and friendship, with colleagues and friends all around us, we can make a difference, more opportunities and a better world for blind and partially sighted people.

 Let us join hands together, because this is not the region of the Board and Policy Council members, but the region for all of us. We have the pleasure of seeing more people getting involved in regional activities, but we want to see more people coming, more people sharing experiences and expertise, and more people benefiting. Above all, please come and join in the fun and excitement of the region!


Best wishes from rainy Tokyo,


Michiko Tabata


World Blind Union Asia-Pacific






Introducing the members of the WBUAO joint Board and Policy Council 2012-2016


1. Ms. Michiko Tabata - President (National Committee of Welfare for the Blind in Japan - NCWBJ).


2. Mr. Sung-Jun Ha - Vice-President (Korean Blind Union, KBU).


3. Dr. Kevin Francis Murfitt - Hon. Treasurer (Vision Australia).


4. Mr. Ivan Ho Tuck Choy - Secretary General (National Council for the Blind of Malaysia, NCBM).


5. Ms. Martine Abel-Williamson - Rep. to WBU (Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (ABCNZ).


6. Sen. Monthian Buntan - Rep. to WBU (Thailand Association of the Blind TAB).


7. Mr. Chong Chan-Yau - Rep. to WBU (Hong Kong Blind Union HKBU).



8. Mr. Andrew Daly - Chair of the Committee on Employment and Economic Empowerment (Royal Society for the Blind of South Australia - RSB).


9. Mr. Neil Jarvis - Chair of the Committee on ICT and Assistive Technologies (Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind RNZFB).


10. Dr. Kevin Francis Murfit - Chair of the Committee on Resource Generation.


11. Ms. Martine Abel-Williamson - Chair of the Women's Committee.


12. Mr. Zhu Gang - Chair of the WBUAP Massage Commission (Yeahcome Health- Care Centre of China).


13. Mdm. Jasmine Khoo Khin Sheen - Chair of the South-East Asia Sub-Regional Committee SEASRC (NCBM).


14. Ms. Gerel Dondovdorj - Chair of the East Asia Sub-Regional Committee, EASRC (Mongolian National Federation of the Blind (MNFB).


15. Dr. Kevin Francis Murfitt - Chair of the Pacific and Oceania Sub-Regional



Other Appointments:

(a) Mr. Wong Yoon Loong - Editor of the Editorial Board (NCBM).


(b) Mr. Chong Chan-Yau - Chair of the Social Enterprise Task Force.


(c) Ms. Martine Abel-Williamson - WBUAP CRPD Co-ordinator.


(d) Sen. Monthian as Liaison to UNESCAP and the Asia-Pacific Centre on Disabilities.


(e) Ms. Michiko Tabata to the Asia-Pacific Disability Forum, APDF.


(f) Dr. Kevin Murfitt - Rep. to the Pacific Disability Forum PDF and Rep. to the WBU Nominations Committee.


(g) Dr. Kim Young-Il - Rep. to the World Braille Council (KBU).


(h) Ms. Michiko Tabata - Rep. to UNESCAP as one of the 15 CSO's on the Working Group of the Incheon Strategy.




Report from the WORLD BLIND UNION/ASIA PACIFIC (WBU/AP) Employment, Economic and Empowerment Committee (WBU/AP-EEE)


Andrew Daly,

Chair - WBU/AP-EEE Committee


The WBU/AP-EEE Committee has now been formed and the Terms of Reference have been reviewed and endorsed by the Executive at their April meeting.

The committee has now met twice and agreed a set of actions and priorities for the next four years.


Members of the committee are

Dr Wong Huey Siew (Malaysia)

Mr Thomas Bryan, (New Zealand)

Mr Tran Thi Hong Hai (Vietnam)

Mr Andrew Daly (Australia)

Mr Pecharat Techavachara (Thailand)

Ms Maureen Tam (Hong Kong)

Mr Wong Yoon Loon (Malaysia – Deputy)

The Committee has set, as a goal, to strive to achieve 400 jobs within the region over the next four years concentrating on the following countries where a dedicated employment service for the blind is located.

·         Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong

Issues for the employment of people who are blind in the region vary depending on the local environment and the countries stage of development.

The following is a number of issues that crossover the nominated countries for the WBU/AP-EEE Committee focus:

·         Adaptive Equipment,

·         Employer Perception,

·         Employee Perceptions,

·         Job Ready Skills

·         Orientation and Mobility –Independent Travel

The members of the WBU/AP-EEE Committee will concentrate on providing resources and creating opportunities for blind people with sample training. The WBU/AP-EEE Committee is happy to receive information and resources from the region to support their goals.

If you wish to communicate with the WBU/AP-EEE Committee please email adaly@rsb.org.au



News from Pacific-Oceania sub-region


Chair of Pacific-Oceania sub-region Kevin Murfitt attended the Pacific Disability Forurm Conference in New Caledonia from April 6 to 12. This conference held every two years brings disabled persons organizations (DPOs) together from across the Pacific to discuss issues and innovations for people with disability in the region and beyond.

At this conference, Kevin presented a paper on the Pacific Education Development Framework; children with vision impairment, which is a document advocating for the implementation of strategies to include children who are blind or have low vision into schools across the Pacific. The framework details actions required for each country to achieve this such as vision screening, teacher training on disability, braille training etc.

Vision Australia in partnership with the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, (RIDBC), and AusAid sponsored the workshop in Sydney (Feb 2011) that brought educators and advocates of education for children who are blind or have low vision together and resulted in the development of the Pacific Education Development Framework; children with vision impairments document.

The PEDF-Vi can be found on the WBU-Ap web site at www.wbuap.org


More information about the Pacific Disability Forum can be found at www.pacificdisability.org




Disability Care Australia


Kevin Murfitt

Chair Pacific-Oceania sub-region


Information accessed from: www.disabilitycareaustralia.gov.au


Once fully rolled out by July 2019, DisabilityCare Australia will provide support for around 460,000 people who have a significant and permanent disability that affects their communication, mobility, self-care or self-management, and who need assistance with everyday activities.

This includes people who are dependent on a wheelchair or prosthesis for mobility, assistance from others in decision making, accessing the community and/or managing household tasks.

DisabilityCare Australia will also support people who would benefit substantially from early intervention to prevent or reduce permanent disability.

There isnft a list of who is in and who is out because the scheme is designed to be about what an individual can do and what they need to achieve their goals.

People with disability who do not meet the access requirements for the scheme, will also continue to receive supports consistent with their currently agreed arrangements.


What will DisabilityCare Australia cover?

DisabilityCare Australia will provide long-term, individualised support that is reasonable and necessary to meet the needs of people with permanent and significant disability. This may include an individual plan and an individually funded package.

The supports available under the scheme will vary from person to person, but may include therapies, home and vehicle modifications, assistive devices and equipment, assistance with household tasks, personal care and transport, community access, and assistance for family and carers.

DisabilityCare Australia will recognise that disability is for a lifetime, and so it will take a lifelong approach to providing support. This means that assessment will look beyond the immediate need, and across the course of a personfs life.

Taking a lifelong approach also means that DisabilityCare Australia will focus on early intervention. The scheme will make early investments where there is good evidence that it will improve the long-term outcomes for people, reduce lifetime costs and delay or mitigate the deterioration in a personfs functional capacity, so they can remain independent for as long as possible.

An information and referral service will help people with disability access mainstream, disability and community supports. DisabilityCare Australia may also provide assistance to community or disability groups for specific projects or accessibility projects, which are designed to benefit a significant group of people.


The scheme was launched on July 1 2013 in five areas of Australia and represents a total shift in the way disability support is provided in Australia. The funding packages will go to individuals with disability themselves and they can choose what services they receive and who they gain them from. It means for example, that a person who is receiving informal support from a family member or relative for attendant care, may be able to  actually employ that same person for those services. We will keep you updated on developments.




DANIDA Project Update


Michiko Tabata

Regional Coordinator


    Here are a few updates from the DANIDA Capacity Building Project going on in Mongolia and Lao PDR, since we all met in Bangkok for the WBU General Assembly. For more information, please contact LAB and MNFB, or me at tabacchi@par.odn.ne.jp.



 The Project Steering group had two Skype meetings during the first half of 2013. Each time, we reviewed and discussed applications for the small scale grant projects, which are meant to support branches, committees and other structures of MNFB and LAB. Some of the activities approved included: training on animal raising, workshop on business management for branches, production of radio programs, advocacy through sports events, plan for this yearfs White Cane Day celebration. Some of the activities were already implemented in the first half of 2013.


Orientation and Mobility

 The project sent trainers of orientation and mobility training to the two countries, who conducted Training of Trainers for several weeks last year. The newly trained O&M trainers have been travelling around in both countries to train blind people how to use canes, how to recognize the environment etc. For most of the recipients of training, most of the things were new, and for the first time they know how to walk independently by using white canes and their different senses.


Fundraising workshops

 The two organizations held at least one fundraising workshop for their leaders in the past year, including the ones held earlier this year. They are implementing some of the tactics for fundraising such as organizing some events and approaching different entities.


Third country

 Our friends at the Danish Association of the Blind saw some opportunities for including another country as a target and requested the Board and Policy Council to recommend a third country to be included when they submit the application for another phase of the project next year. BPC decided to include Myanmar, at their first BPC meeting in Yangon in late April this year.




Miracle In Marrakesh: "Historic" Treaty For Visually Impaired Agreed


26 June 2013
Adapted from an Article By Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch


Marrakesh, Morocco – The mood was one of celebration at the Marrakesh Palais des Congrès to greet the success of World Intellectual Property Organization negotiators in their attempt to produce a draft treaty text showing consensus.

After a difficult start to the week, delegates achieved success and the corridors of the conference centre echoed with laughter and congratulations.

Tears of joy were shed as most celebrated this as an historic agreement. Visually impaired people and civil society supporting them were ecstatic, some said overwhelmed.

The final informal consolidation 
draft text [pdf] was issued late at night, and all articles were adopted by a full room of delegates. The text is now off to the drafting committee which will ensure that all different language versions are consistent and compatible.

WIPO members are meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 17-28 June to finalise a treaty on limitations and exceptions to copyright for blind and visually impaired persons, allowing them better cross-border access to books.


For the visually impaired community, this is seen as nothing short of a miracle.

After 10 days of hard negotiations, Dan Pescod, who leads the World Blind Unionfs European campaign for the treaty, confessing exhaustion, told Intellectual Property Watch before the text was available gpart of me wants to see the text in front of me and part of me feels this is an historic day many years in the making.h


Maryanne Diamond, immediate past president of the World Blind Union, told Intellectual Property Watch that all issues that mattered for blind people had been addressed. gWe are still in shock,h she said, adding gthis is the beginning of changing the world for blind people.h


Pablo Lecuona from the Latin American Blind Union said that for the past five years the blind community had been pushing for recognition of the problem of access to books for visually impaired people.

gNow we have a treaty,h he told Intellectual Property Watch, but said they have further work, which is the ratification and the implementation of this treaty so that it is an effective tool so that blind people can access more books.


gI am overwhelmed. It was so hard and it should not have been so hard,h said Jamie Love, a strong supporter of the treaty. gIt took five years of hard work when it could have been much quicker but people really changed their mind when they met blind people. You could see a change in attitude in delegates,h he said.


gThe European Union and the United States delegates found a way to push back on industry lobbying,h he told Intellectual Property Watch, and even within industry, he added, there was a change of attitude, with some lobbyists pushing back hardliners.


Jim Fruchterman, the head of Benetech, which runs Bookshare, a digital platform providing special format books for visually impaired people, said, gWe are extremely excited about the treaty. We have the technology and we have the content, now we have a legal regime to make it possible for every person with print disabilities on the planet to get access to the books they need for education, employment, and social inclusion.h


The level of enthusiasm was the same among delegates, whether from developed, developing or least-developed countries.

Justin Hughes, a US delegate, told Intellectual Property Watch, gIt was a pleasure to work with Brazil, and the European Union, and Mexico in the early days to try to get the first collaborative text together. Obviously it feels wonderful to see that text come to fruition.h

Another representative of Group B developed countries said that the text was balanced, as a European Union delegate said, gEverybody is very happy, very satisfied.h A delegate of the African Group said, gIt is a miracle.h


In a rare occurrence, all delegations, as well as civil society, celebrated in unison a treaty characterised as serving human rights.


The enthusiasm was not as marked on the side of publishers. A source from the publishing industry told Intellectual Property Watch that the text was gpretty balancedh and that gthere was something in it for everyone.h Visibly the text is not to their full satisfaction, but most interviewed said they were happy for visually impaired people.


WIPO Director General Francis Gurry told observers that the treaty had been driven by nongovernmental organisations and it was not only a treaty, but a good treaty. He extended ghis profound thanksh for what he describes as ga truly historic result.h

gIt is a great thing for WIPO, for intellectual property, for the multilateral system, but above all, for visually impaired persons,h Gurry said. He was greeted by sustained applause. Participants widely praised the work of the WIPO secretariat.




President of the Philippines Blind Union - A Biography


Teddy M. Kahil was born without sensory impairment on August 20, 1972. He completed his education and obtained the degree of Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation major in Nautical Engineering at Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology.


Mr Kahil first began having problems with his vision in 1995, when he suddenly awoke one morning with blurring eyesight. In 1999, Mr. Kahil completely lost sight caused by uveitis and optic atrophy. It took him more than three years to accept the disability. In 2002, he availed himself of the programs and services of the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through a Vocational Rehabilitation Center in Zamboanga City where he became the president of the center-based clients association and graduated as the most outstanding client of the year in 2003.


On July 1, 2003, Mr. Kahil landed a job at DSWD as a massage instructor. He took the opportunity to elevate his academic knowledge by enrolling at Western Mindanao State University, College of Social Work and Community Development, in the Masterfs of Social Work course. Mr. Kahil worked during the week and spent the weekends studying. After passing his examinations and submitted his thesis entitled gGovernment Employment Support Policies for People With Disabilities In Zamboanga Cityh, he graduated on March 26, 2009 and became the first Person With Disability conferred with a Masterfs degree at the aforesaid university. On June 23-24 of the same year, he passed the Board Examination conducted by the Professional Regulations Commission. This became more significant for he is so far the first and only vision-impaired Registered Social Worker in the Country with a Masterfs degree.


On September 16, 2009, Mr. Kahil was appointed as a Manpower Development Officer then transferred to the City Government of Zamboanga as the head of the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Unit under the Office of City Social Welfare and Development on February 4, 2011.


Mr. Kahil has three daughters, Carolyn aged 8 years, and nine months old twins Alyza and Alyana. His wife Marilyn is also vision-impaired currently works as instructor for the vision-impaired. Despite his busy schedule, Mr Kahil always finds time for his family.


Mr. Kahil organized the Vision Impaired Society Towards Advancement Inc. On July 17, 2005 at Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center III, Zamboanga City. In 2007, he obtained the approval of the DSWD Regional Office to re-establish the operation of a livelihood center for people with disabilities located at Gen. Vicente Alvarez Street, Zamboanga City. Mr. Kahil then submitted a successful project proposal to the Department of Labor and Employment for the purchase of other necessary equipment to establish the VISTA massage therapy clinic on September 22, 2009. The project has been operational since then, with 48 students having graduated since its beginning.


In 2008, immediately upon his election as President of Zamboanga City Federation of Differently Abled Community, Mr. Kahil drafted a resolution requesting the passing of an ordinance establishing the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office in Zamboanga City. On December 2009, this Ordinance was passed and approved by the Mayor. The Persons with Disability Affairs Unit became operational on February 11, 2011.


Mr. Kahil as head of the unit, provided technical assistance and conducted several activities. Among others were:

 Consultation-Dialogue on Philippine disability legislation, R.A. 9442 and training on such areas as wheelchair assessment, accessibility law, Economic Empowerment for people with disabilities, accessible technology and training for parents of Children with disability. He was the catalyst in the strengthening of the following organizations:

 Katipunan ng may Kapansanan sa Zamboanga, Philippine Blind Union Inc., Vision Impaired Society Towards Advancement Inc., Mindanao Advocate for Children with Visual Impairment Inc., Zamboanga City Deaf Federation Inc. In April 2012, Mr. Kahil successfully organized the Philippine Association for Differently Abled Zamboanga City Chapter. He also made a sterling effort in the formation of the Association of Tausog with Disabilities, a group currently operating in the Province of Sulu. Through his effort, Mindanao Disability Alliance was organized in 2012.


Mr. Kahil has been an inspiration to students and professionals with disabilities in Zamboanga Peninsula. In 2011, he was the commencement speaker of the graduation exercise at Southern City Colleges and then became resource person during the conduct of a consultation sponsored by the Philippine Coalition on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Cagayan De Oro City in 2012. In January 2013, he lectured on Equality and Non-Discrimination at Ecotech Lahug, Cebu City. Mr Kahil also inspired people with disabilities in Isabela, Basilan Province, and the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao on a speaking engagement during the celebration of White Cane Safety Day in 2012.


Mr. Kahil is a recipient of a national award as Outstanding Visually Impaired Person on Community Involvement, Government Service Category awarded by the Department of Education in August 2010. He is likewise a recipient of several other recognitions and commendations for his meaningful contributions that have made a difference to the lives of people with disabilities.


Mr. Kahil has been elected for three terms as President of Zamboanga City Federation of People with Disabilities, President of PHILSPADA, Zamboanga City Chapter, Founding President of Vision Impaired Society Towards Advancement Inc., Regional President of Zamboanga Peninsula Federation of Disability, Member of the board of AKAPPINOY Inc. And the newly elected National President of Philippine Blind Union Inc. The first so far grass roots leader who assumed leadership of a national organization.




Blind Sculptors, Ice Breakers


By Martine Abel-Williamson, Executive Member WBUAP


This past January has been a great opportunity for some of us to make use of the end of year/Christmas holiday period to channel our energy into something creative, as well as making use of the break to socialise with blind friends from around the world, within as well as outside our Asia-Pacific region.


A blind school friend from South Africa, Francois Jacobs, Kevin Murfitt, Pacific-Oceania Sub-region Chair (from Australia) as well as friends from outside Auckland but still in New Zealand all decided to visit me, for us all to share some down time together, as one usually tends to catch up for work purposes mostly.


As Ifve tried sculpting a while ago, I decided to surprise all by arranging for us to participate in a crash course, over four days, to learn more about stone sculpting. New Zealand sculptor, Martin Selman, has experience in hands-on teaching, although the art in itself can be quite visual.


Oamaru lime stone is a relatively soft kind of stone, well, when you compare it with marble to name an example and the techniques and equipment introduced included using a scutch hammer, metal file, chisels and sand paper.


Between the five of us who went on the course we ended up making the following items: a bird bath with its stand, a dogfs water bowl, an incense holder, a silver fern garden ornament, a medieval wheat grinder and a tea-light candle stand.


At times we ended up accidently hammering or filing a finger or two, but the overall experience of trying something totally different was really relaxing as well as invigorating.


Arts Access Aotearoa, the New Zealand agency thatfs promoting accessible arts initiatives posted our work on its facebook page at:



During our holiday we also ended up visiting a bar with a kind of difference, called, Freddyfs Icehouse.  As the name indicates, itfs a room where the constant temperature is six degrees minus C. One gets given a hat, jacket and gloves upon entering and all the tables, seats and other furniture and ornaments within are made out of ice. It doesnft melt at all so we could have a sit around without getting soaked. Even the vessels we drank out of were made of ice. One had to hold it with both gloved hands to stop it from slipping and falling.


If you drink alcohol, you could take your time doing so, but non-alcoholic drinks would freeze nearly immediately. Afterwards we had the opportunity to break the ice cups. It was very tactile and different, so, if anyonefs planning on visiting New Zealand, do let me know so that I can introduce you to this bar with a difference.




News from Thailand Association of the blind


Thailand International Blind Music Festival

Last year, Thailand Association of the Blind (TAB) organized The 1st International Blind Music Festival in parallel with the 8th general assembly of the World Blind Union (WBU) joint General Assembly with the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) which took place in Bangkok from November 10-18, 2012. The music festival was held at Benjasiri Park with audiences of around 300 daily from November 12-15, 2012. During the festival, we were honoured to experience performances from Ignasi Terraza who is a Catalan jazz pianist. Blind from the age of 10, he currently leads his own jazz trio playing both standards and tunes composed by himself and one of his band members; and Jordie Howell, Classical soprano, who works at Vision Australia as a Braille Trainer and music transcriber. Also joining in this international music festival were local bands called gDiamondh, gIonionh and others. There was also a show of the northeastern Thai traditional music called Bonglarng. 


This year, TAB will again organize the 2nd Thailand International Blind Music Festival. We would like to invite talented blind musicians from around the world to participate in this event.  The details are as follows: Event date: 14-15 and 21-22 December 2013
Event theme: "Breathing in the dark"
Place: Bangkok and Chiang Mai
Show Time: 6.00-9.00 p.m.
Auditions: now until 31 July 2013
Announcement of the selected musicians: by 31 August 2013

Please submit a brief biography and profile for our consideration to

The host organisation will provide
1. Round trip air ticket, economy class
2. Accommodation during stay in

3. Meals during stay in Thailand
4. Ground transportation during stay
  in Thailand

5. Sightseeing in local area


We are looking forward to listening to your great music!


The 12th World Blind Union Asia-Pacific massage seminar

The Foundation for the employment promotion of the blind and The Thailand Association of the Blind will together organize The 12th World Blind Union Asia-Pacific massage seminar to be held on May 5-7, 2014 at the Golden Tulip Sovereign Hotel in Bangkok. The seminar theme is gMedical massage for the blindh. The keynote address will be about the Development of medical massage for the blind in Thailand by Dr. Vichai Chokevivat from Thailand.  In addition, there will be 6 plenary sessions as follows:

Plenary 1: gMassage business modelh  

Plenary 2: gMedical massage for 12 symptoms treatmenth

Plenary 3: gLocal massage techniquesh

Plenary 4: gRelated research in medical massage and acupunctureh

Plenary 5: gMassage clinic modelh

Plenary 6: gFuture perspectives for WBUAP medical massageh

The WBUAP massage commission led by Mrs. Grace Chan, Founding Chairman (China Hong Kong), Dato Dr Hsiung Kwo Yeun, Vice Chairman (Malaysia) and Mr. Peng Lei, Chairman Assistant (China) visited the Golden Tulip Sovereign Hotel, Bangkok on May 17, 2013.  The team was welcomed by Mr. Pecharat Techavachara, president of the Foundation for the employment promotion of the blind, senator Monthian Buntan, immediate past president of Thailand Association of the Blind and some local organizing committee members to inspect the preparation for The 12th World Blind Union Asia-Pacific massage seminar.


The seminar expects to draw over 500 participants from the region.  The objectives of this seminar are:

(1) to exchange knowledge and massage techniques among Asia-Pacific countries and

(2) to promote the development of quality of life of persons with disabilities.


Registration fee:

Delegate                         280 USD  

Accompanying Person 230 USD  


Abstract submission deadline: August 31, 2013


Notifications regarding abstract status: September 30, 2013

For any further information, please feel free to contact 12thwbuap@gmail.com or visit www.wbuapseminar2014.org

ASEAN Community Blind Forum (ACBF)


The Thailand Association of the Blind (TAB) organized The 16th TAB national convention on April 20–24, 2013 at Hua Hin Grand and Plaza hotel, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. In parallel, we also organized The 1st ASEAN Community Blind Forum (ACBF). We were honoured to welcome 17 leaders from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. And of course some representatives from Thailand.


ACBF is the stage to share ASEAN experiences for the development of visually impaired persons and to get ready for the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. During the forum, the representatives reported the situation of persons with visual impairment in their respective countries. There was an interesting exchange of knowledge and information. At the end of the forum, all the participants agreed to create an ACBF email group to allow continued discussion among persons with visual impairment in ASEAN.  The purpose of this group is to be an open forum for discussion on issues concerning blindness and blind people in the ASEAN countries. Although we would like to keep this list open and allow free flow of discussion as much as possible, we would like to cordially request that you concentrate on issues which affect the lives of blind people in general and try to refrain from personal matters. If you would like to join this group, please send the request to wbu.icevi@gmail.com




The 1st Thailand International Braille Reading and Writing Contest


Thailand Association of the Blind will hold The 1st Thailand International Braille reading and writing contest during 17-19 January 2014 at Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University in concurrence with The 19th National Braille Reading and Writing Contest.


Application Criteria:

·         Visually impaired persons from ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam)

·         Applicants are divided into two age groups; i.e., ages 15-24 years and 25 years onwards. Please apply as individuals.


Type of contest

1. English Braille reading

  • The applicant will get an English Braille examination for silent reading practice for three minutes
  • The applicant is invited into the room to read aloud in front of judges for three minutes
  • Each judge will rate by pronunciation, punctuation, mannerism and expression


Award type:

  • First prize: 15,000 Baht with the certificate
  • Second prize: 10,000 Baht with the certificate
  • Third prize: 5,000 Baht with the certificate
  • (Note: 1 USD = 30 Baht)



2.English Braille writing

  • The judge will read a passage three times and allow candidates to write the passage down in Braille (Grade 2) within one minute
  • Award type: 5,000 Baht with the certificate


Application conditions:

  1. Four applicants from each country will be accepted, accompanied by one sighted guide
  2. Applicants should be recommended by the National organization of the blind or National member of WBU
  3. Each applicant may apply for the reading, writing or both competitions by completing an application form and submit to Thailand Association of the Blind by email: wbu.icevi@gmail.com by 30 November 2013
  4. The host country will provide each country with a space for the exhibition of Braille-related items on 17 January 2014 which will be the opening ceremony day, please express your wish to exhibit items in your application form


The host country will support the following costs for four applicants with one sighted guide

  1. Roundtrip, low cost airfare
  2. Accommodation
  3. Meals
  4. Travelling as appropriate


For further information and application forms, contact:


Miss Yaowalak Somboonlertsiri (Apple)

International Relations Coordinator


Thailand Association of the Blind (TAB)

85/1-3 Soi Bunyu, Din Daeng road, Samsennai,
Phyathai, Bangkok 10400 Thailand


Office: +662-246-2287, 662-246-3835

Fax: +662-246-2278, +662-245-9846




Upcoming Conferences and Events


International Art Exhibition for People with disabilities


Dear Friends,

We at Nippon Charity Kyokai (Public Interest Incorporated Foundation) are carrying out a variety of activities to encourage persons with disabilities to achieve self-reliance and fulfillment in their life by fully exerting their potential.


This coming October, we will organize in Japan an international art exhibition named g2013 Asia ParaArt Tokyoh, collecting paintings by disabled artists in Asian countries.


It would be highly appreciated if you could make known to us some artist(s) with disabilities in your country who would agree to exhibit their work in this exhibition. We will contact them directly, or through your organization, according to your instruction.


We will not make any distinction according to the kind of disabilities. We would like to introduce works of artists with various kinds of disabilities including physical, intellectual and mental disabilities.


We are looking forward to hearing from you very soon, with information on talented artist with disabilities from your country.


Best regards,


Kinji Takagi


Public Interest Incorporated Foundation gNippon Charity Kyokaih





































Contact Details


Chief Editor

Wong Yoon Loong

National Council for the Blind Malaysia

94B Jalan Tun Sambanthan


50470 Kuala Lumpur


E-mail: wongyl@pd.jaring.my


Dr. Issavara Sirirungruang
Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University
111 Moo 6, Phuttamonthon 4 Road,
Salaya, Nakhon Pathom 73170,
E-mail: isvrss@gmail.com, 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


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