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 in the first half of 2022, 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.
COVID-19 and deafblindness
Recommendations on inclusive policies from the global deafblind community
In the aftermath of the pandemic, WFDB is still facing challenges in organising events. However, WFDB is still working to organise the WFDB General Assembly
It is with deep regret that the upcoming WFDB General Assembly (GA) has been postponed and the Helen Keller World Conference (HKWC) cancelled. The HKWC
WFDB’s 2nd technical SHAPES workshop was held in person in Geneva on 11-13 July 2022, to gather feedback and the perspective of persons with deafblindness.
Latest on twitter
WFDB Program Advisor @luciadarino presented and led a discussion on the #inclusion of older persons with #deafblindness and other #disabilities as well as the #accessibility of the @H2020Shapes project at @H2020Shapes 3-day Plenary in Greece. Thank you for having us @iMedPhysAUTH https://t.co/uYG0J1L2J6Read More
RT @luciadarino: Delighted to attend the first day of @H2020Shapes Plenary Meetings in #Thessaloniki 🇬🇷. Excited to meet all the consortium…Read More