Voice of Vision Impairment (VVI) is an all-Ireland organisation which exists to campaign for the needs and rights of people with disabilities, with a particular expertise in the perspective of those who are blind and partially sighted. We carry out our work in the following ways:
• Produce policy documents to assist decision-makers.
• As consultants and experts, give advice to statutory bodies and corporate entities, as to the needs and rights of people with disabilities, particularly in relation to the removal of the barriers that cause disability among people with a visual impairment.
• Assist in research into disability, and make research proposals.
• Provide to the media and educational services an independent source for the perspectives of those with visual impairments.
• We advise on, and campaign for, legal compliance, regarding accessibility of services, as well as obligations for statutory bodies to engage in meaningful consultation.
Our core principle is to prioritise the perspectives of those with the least abilities, and have solutions based on that principle. This might be summarised as being a bottom-up approach, instead of the traditional top-down approach.
VVI’s independence comes from the fact that it is a Human Rights campaign group, and not a service-provider, which means we have no conflict of interests. In other words, instead of being a lobby-group, we campaign and give independent advice.
VVI is a national Disabled Peoples Organisation (DPO) under the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (see Article 4.3 of the CRPD, and General Comment 7), and it is our raisson d’etre to meet the criteria to be a national DPO.
VVI’s vision is a society where people with a visual impairment will have freedom, choice, and control over all aspects of their own lives, and will fully participate in an inclusive society as equals.
Our philosophy is rights-based, and we espouse the social model of disability, and actively reject the medical model in all its forms.
VVI originally came into being as Blind Rights Ireland (BRI) in July, 2019, before democratically settling on VVI in September 2019 – our permanent name.