Submissions & observations

VVI Bus Connects Observation

In repsonse to the National Transport Authority’s Bus Connects plan, VVI have raised a number of key concerns.

If concerns are not addressed it could have impacts for the most vulnerable pedestrians (including children under 10 and people over 75), as well as those with severe disabilities.

In our paper “VVI Bus Connects Observation, 2020.12” we outline these impacts and concerns.

Submissions & observations

State Publishes Draft Report on its Implementation of Convention on the Rights of Persons

On December 3rd, 2020, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth published the State’s Initial Report under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the progress made by the Irish Government in relation to realising the rights of disabled people outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

VVI (Voice of Vision Impairment) will be participating in providing feedback to the Department through “The Disability Participation and Consultation Network” in co-operation with the Disabled Person Coalition (DPO Coalition), of which VVI is a founder member.

The DPO Coalition has been funded to provide feedback to the Department of Justice on its draft document. The DPO Coalition is currently developing a consultation framework to ensure your opinions are communicated and make a difference. The DPO Coalition, through its member organizations, including VVI, will be asking for your involvement to talk about your lived experience, the challenges you face and the obstacles you are trying to overcome.

VVI currently only has a voluntary staff, but we are committed to doing our best to make sure that the voices of people with a visual impairment (including your voice), are heard.

These consultation meetings will happen early next year and we will be bringing you more news about how to get involved in January.

If you have a visual impairment and are interested in getting involved, or just finding out things as they happen, all you need to do is write to us at, and we’d love to have you as a member.

At the same time as this research work is going on, the DPO Coalition will also be developing its own “Shadow Report”. This report is not a Government report, it will be developed by the DPO members to give clear feedback to the UN committee on the members’ views of the Government’s progress.

VVI, ourselves,, will also be preparing our own, independent, shadow report on the State’s implementation of the CRPD, and again, the involvement of as many people with a visual impairment as possible will be greatly valued, and greatly enrich our report.

All of these projects will be an exciting opportunity for us to have our opinions and experience recognised and we look forward to getting you involved.

The members of the DPO coalition are:

As well as VVI (Voice of Vision Impairment), the current members of the DPO Coalition are:

  • As I Am
  • Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI)
  • Irish Deaf Society (IDS)
  • National Platform of Self Advocates
  • Disabled Women of Ireland (DWI)

Looking forward to hearing from you,
The VVI team

Submissions & observations

VVI’s Submission to Irish Rail’s Accessible Station Design Manual (July, 2020)

Here are links to a document that we in VVI have authored and have provided to Irish Rail.


Newsletter, May/June, 2020

Our website has been quiet in the past few months, but VVi’s reps have been very busy working on policy documents and position papers, and engaging in consultations regarding policies and decisions of statutory bodies.

New Rep: In April, VVI welcomed on board it’s eighth rep, Martin O’Sullivan, based in Dublin City. Martin has a distinguished record in activism on behalf of the rights and needs of people with a visual impairment.

Accessibility of Broadcasting Services: In March, 2020, one of our members, Robbie Sinnott, as a member of RTÉ’s Audience Council, was instrumental in getting RTÉ to employ its first Access Officer under the 2005 Disability Act. The same process also led to RTÉ committing to report on its Public Sector Equality Duty (2014 Human Rights and Equality Commission Act). Work is ongoing to secure a much better Audio Description service, and to ensure accessibility of RTÉ’s apps. Many thanks to Barry O’Donnell for his work on the latter.

Accessible Communications: VVI’s Dublin City reps were instrumental in getting Dublin City Council to acquire its own braille embosser so that it can communicate in a timely manner to its citizens who have braille as a preferred format. Thanks to Áine Wellard for her ongoing consultative work in perfecting the system. Visually impaired people use different forms of communication depending on individual preferences, and they all have equal validity.

Accessible Travel and Local Planning: In March, 2020, Gerry Shanahan became Tipperary PPN’s Social Inclusion representative on the Infrastructure Strategic Policy Committee of Tipperary County Council. This brings to three, so far, the number of members VVI has sitting on Strategic Policy Committees, since we already have two in Dublin City: Áine Wellard represents the PPN’s Social Inclusion pillar on the Housing SPC, and Robbie Sinnott represents all pillars on the Planning and Urban Form SPC (both since September, 2019).

In February, Robbie Sinnott (VVI’s Co-ordinator), gave a guest-lecture at the Dept. of Sociology in Trinity College Dublin, on Disabled Peoples Organizations and the social model of disability. Thanks to Edurne Garcia for facilitating this engagement with her Third Year module class.

Edurne Garcia also facilitated contact between VVI and the Inclusive Research Network, and on March 11th, VVI gave a presentation to IRN on what it means to VVI to be a DPO. We were clear that the short-term picture is not at all rosey, because the State has put non-DPOs in charge of the roll-out of the State’s engagement with DPOs. But, in the long-term, we are hopeful that the independent voice of service-users, and not service-providers, will win out as being genuine DPOs.

In January, 2020, VVI’s Robbie Sinnott spoke at the launch of the report “Making Rights Real for Prisoners with Disabilities,” which was produced by the Penal Reform Trust and commissioned by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. Robbie had been on the advisory committee for the report. The two most marginalized groups in Ireland today are prisoners , and those with disabilities; and it could be argued that prison, as currently constituted, is an institution of deliberate disabling. However, even within that system there are people who have been socially disabled since birth – because of their impairments or neurodivergence, and these are truly the marginalized of the marginalized…the most disabled of all. They need to be listened to by us all.

Submissions & observations

VVI Housing Policy

One of the other areas we have been working on is our Housing policy this is still in draft but please feel free to provide feedback on what we have done so far. Housing is an issue that is of concern to many in Ireland


Our Constitution!

Hi we have been working on this for a while, let us know what you think by leaving a comment below