Our structure involves two membership categories:

1. Basic Membership

(referred to as just ‘membership’, or involving ‘members’). Membership is open to anyone in Ireland who has a vision impairment. All members have input into VVI’s decision-making process, including the guiding of VVI’s priorities. Members will receive quarterly email newsletter updates on our activities, and are invited to make contributions to newsletters. Members are also entitled to particular service-cost exemptions by service-providers, which VVI has already negotiated for its members. If you want to become a member, all you need to do is email your request to, and you will be sent your membership number, with which you can avail of the perks of VVI membership regarding free services. Note: membership is only open to people with a vision impairment, and will be revoked immediately if abuse is reported by a service-provider.

2. Reps

Where other groups have their core, trustees, board of directors etc., VVI has its group of ‘reps’. VVI currently has 8 reps (currently our founding members). Being a rep involves one or all of the following roles:

* representing VVI in consultations with statutory bodies (e.g., local government PPNs and service providers).

* membership of policy subgroups and contribution to our policy documents.

* Also, ‘rep’ is an advisory capacity for individuals who have had a history/record of rights-based campaigning (bottom-up) relating to vision impairment.

Currently, while we bed down, effectively, being a rep is by invitation only, but people can invite themselves if they offer their services in the above three roles, and if they satisfy the following four conditions:

• VVI reps cannot be a representative, employee, board-member, or be in a leadership position of any other disability organisation.

• Reps must agree with the prioritisation of the views of DPOs over those of service-providers.

• reps must agree with the prioritisation of perspectives of those with least ability, and solutions to be based on this.

• reps must abide by our constitution.

List of our Reps and Roles

All enquiries can be addressed to

Áine Wellard (Dublin City): housing (including PPN rep on Dublin City Council’s Housing SPC), accessible communications, Climate Justice, Education, Health & Personal Assistance, Inclusion in Politics, the Justice System, Outreach & DPOs, Travel.

Barry O’Donnell, (Kerry, Fingal): accessible communications, Health & Person Assistance, Education, Inclusion in Politics, Travel.

David Nestor (Galway, Meath): VVI rep on Meath PPN: housing, Travel.

Gerry Shanahan (Tipperary), VVI rep on Tipperary PPN Social Inclusion representative on the Infrastructure SPC of Tippperary County Council: Accessible communications, Travel.

Martin O’Sullivan (Dublin City): outreach, political participation, travel.

Richie Sinnott (Wexford): Health and Personal Assistance, Housing, Travel.

Robbie Sinnott (Dublin City): all sub-groups, VVI rep on Dublin City PPN, and PPN rep to Dublin City Planning SPC.

Rosemarie Anne Fearsaor Hughes (Dublin City): accessible communications, housing, Travel.