On 4 September, the World Blind Union launched Amplifying Voices: our Lives, Our Say, a report sharing the experiences of blind and partially sighted people during the Covid-19 pandemic. The report is based on a survey of 853 blind and partially sighted people from across the globe and was supported by CBM Global.
Data gathered from the study shows that persons with disabilities, older persons, and persons from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds are among those hardest hit by the pandemic. While this report puts a spotlight on the voices of blind and partially sighted people, many of the experiences shared strongly resonate with numerous other studies highlighting how marginalised groups have been affected by this crisis.
The World Blind Union (WBU) hopes the study will raise awareness on what have been the challenges for its constituents during this pandemic, as well as highlighting people’s resilience strategies. The recommendations in the report offer WBU national and regional members ways to amplify those voices as they engage in driving forward an agenda for change. They call for effective collaboration with other representative organisations of persons with disabilities, governments, communities, civil society, UN agencies and the private sector to realise the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as we collectively build back better.
CBM Global Executive Director David Bainbridge spoke at the launch event about how development organisations can best achieve effective partnerships with Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in Covid-19 responses. Other panellists included UN Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes.
CBM Global is committed to working in partnership with people with disabilities and their representative organisations, such as the World Blind Union, to amplify their voices and build more inclusive societies.
Image: Martina, President of an organization of persons with disabilities called “Comfort for the Blind” in Cameroon, at an Coronavirus awareness event.