Welcome to the Presidents corner – and my window to the world
First I take the opportunity to thank our web-master and treasurer at the WFDB, Christer Nilsson, for his outstanding work reconstructing our online presence, taking us one step further in communicating with our surroundings; Enabling us to promote our cause and perform our duty as advocates of persons with deafblindness around the world in our effort to secure our equal rights and opportunities.
But not only Christer has done a great job in our community. We all have, and I would like to commend our friends at The African Association of the Deafblind (AFDB), and congratulate them and their President Ezekiel Kumwenda for obtaining the certificate that officially confirms the registration of the AFDB in Malawi, great work.
In Ecuador we have our Vice President Sonnia Margarita Villacres, working tirelessly with organizing and facilitating our coming EC meeting in Guayaquil in August. This she manages to do in spite of an hectic schedule, and the challenges we all face in our work due to our deafblindness.
Francisco J. Trigueros Molina, the President of Spanish association of the deafblind (FASOCIDE) is already well on the way with preparations for our General Assembly and the 11th Helen Keller World Conference in Spain, June 2018, and a presentation of the WFDB he will give at a conference in Qatar in March.
Our friends and colleagues in the EDbU are planning the EDbU General Assembly and Deafblind Conference in Finland June 2017; And this summer, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria 3rd to 7th of July there will be a week of sports and celebrations for people with deafblindness.
I can go on and on, there are many processes in the pipeline now, and a lot of great work done by so many; I am grateful to you all for your time and effort.
But what’s in store for the WFDB and what about the Presidents corner?
We are currently facing many challenges on various levels.
Among our many important objectives in the years to come, is having deafblindness and the causes of deafblindness included in the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification Lists for Functioning and diseases.
These lists make the foundation for data gathered, most actions taken, and services provided for people with disabilities by both governments and support organizations. These classifications will be essential in our effort to have deafblindness acknowledged and truly recognized, formally, as a unique dual disability on a global level, as well as regional and local national levels; In all areas of society. Without these classifications we will still be invisible to some.
In addition to the quest for classification of deafblindness by the WHO we are looking for funds to establish a full time secretariat, this will also be essential for fulfilling our true potential as an advocate for people with deafblindness worldwide.
As for the future of this corner, well, I will to the best of my ability and as often as my schedule allows it share information, news and most of all thoughts about our challenges, processes and achievements.
Thank you for your time.
Geir Jensen, Norway