The Educator

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Message from The President

Since we were last in contact,

the IDP Africa Forum held in

Kampala, Uganda in October

2015, postponed from the

previous year on account of

Ebola, provided an excellent

focus for international

collaboration. We were able to

showcase our Global Campaign on Education For

All Children with Visual Impairment (EFA-VI),

which was given a major boost by a video

message of support from Gordon Brown, the

former UK Prime Minister and now the UN

Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Global

Education. We nearly couldn’t get it to play, but

Dr Mani, with great presence of mind, came

rushing up to the podium with his laptop and

saved the day.

We were also able to hold a meeting of the

Executive Committee. There was a lively

discussion of the new Articles of Association,

ICEVI’s constitution, prepared by our lawyers,

Bates, Wells and Braithwaite, leading charity

lawyers in London. A number of changes were

agreed and discussed with the lawyers, but we will

need to take a little more time to resolve some

issues thrown up by our desire to develop

constitutions for our regions, and also to allay

concerns raised by some of our international

partners.

You will be glad to know that the EFA-VI

Campaign, implemented in partnership with the

World Blind Union (WBU), was selected as one of

the 86 innovative practices by the Zero Project,

Austria, and Larry, Mani and I attended its

conference and the award ceremony held in

Vienna in February. Many international

organisations and individuals showed interest in

ICEVI's work and we look forward to the EFA-VI

Campaign gaining even greater traction with this

increased exposure.

2016 will be an important year for ICEVI as we

organise our second Joint General Assembly in

collaboration with our WBU colleagues. The 2012

Assembly in Bangkok generated a lot of goodwill

and camaraderie between WBU and ICEVI, and

we are looking to progressively strengthen this

collaboration at all levels. As an example, we

were able to make the most of the Africa Forum in

Kampala last October to bring WBU and ICEVI

members together at the regional level to plan

strategic activities to expand the EFA-VI Global

Campaign in the region and also to strengthen

joint work on advocacy.

As further instances of collaboration, the ICEVI

West Asia region and the Asia Blind Union will be

holding a Joint Regional Conference in

Ahmedabad, India, this March, and the WBU and

ICEVI members of the North America/Caribbean

region are proposing to have a joint meeting in

conjunction with the General Assembly in Orlando.

These joint activities are testimony to the stronger

collaboration between the two organisations,

which augurs well for joint action to improve

educational opportunities for children with visual

impairment.

This issue of The Educator focuses on “Reaching

the Un-reached” and has an excellent selection of

articles written by authors representing the

different regions of ICEVI. Dr. Marianne Riggio,

the Editor from Perkins School for the Blind, has

done a brilliant job in bringing together a range of

articles which will serve as wonderful resources

for training programmes and enabling researchers

to know more about the status of education of

visually impaired children in different parts of the

world. An important development in the

forthcoming Assembly compared with Bangkok

will be the staging of an “ICEVI Day” as part of the

Joint Assembly devoted to paper presentations

along the lines of the traditional ICEVI conference.

02 | The Educator

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