The World Federation of the Deafblind
WFDB aims to improve the quality of life of persons with deafblindness worldwide, with the objective of achieving their equal rights and equal opportunities in all areas of society, to be a worldwide forum for the exchange of knowledge and experiences in the area of deafblindness, and to increase international solidarity among organisations of persons with deafblindness.
What is deafblindness?
Deafblindness is a combined vision and hearing impairment of such severity that it is hard for the impaired senses to compensate for each other. Thus, deafblindness is a distinct disability.
To varying degrees, deafblindness limits activities and restricts full participation in society. It affects social life, communication, access to information, orientation and the ability to move around freely and safely.
To help compensate for the combined vision and hearing impairment, especially the tactile sense becomes important.
Representing between 0.2% to 2% of the population, persons with deafblindness are a very diverse yet hidden group and are, overall, more likely to be poor and unemployed, and with lower educational outcomes. Because deafblindness is less wellknown and often misunderstood, people struggle to obtain the right support, and are often excluded from both development and disability programmes.
World Population Affected by Deafblindness (2018)
No Data Found
No Data Found
South America & Carribean
Easy to Read
Learn more about people with deafblindness in this Easy to Read document .
You will find Easy to Read documents on some of our pages. Look out for the Easy to Read logo!
WFDB Global Reports on the situation and rights of persons with deafblindness
At risk of exclusion from CRPD and SDGS implementation: Inequality and Persons with Deafblindness
The WFDB is currently working on the 2nd Global Report, which will be published by the end of 2022/early 2023, to consolidate the findings on the situation of persons with deafblindness in different regions and contexts, as well as provide recommendations.
Meanwhile, you can read the WFDB’s 1st Global Report, which combines the largest population-based analysis of persons with deafblindness conducted to date (disaggregation of 22 population-based surveys from low, middle and high-income countries), an academic literature review, two surveys conducted among WFDB members and partners and Sense International.
Sanja Tarczay, WFDB’s new President, would like to share a thank you message with everyone. Below you will find the video and transcript: Video
WFDB held its 6th General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya on the 24-25 October 2022. More than 30 delegates with deafblindness were present from around the
The SHAPES Project held its 3-day plenary from the 13th to the 15th of September 2022 in Thessaloniki, Greece. This was the first time the
COVID-19 and deafblindness
Recommendations on inclusive policies from the global deafblind community