Membership

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 email newsletter updates on our activities, and are invited to make contributions to newsletters.

If you wish to become a member, all you need to do is email your interest to info@vvi.ie, giving your name and local authority area (if known). Other contact details such as phone would also be nice, but are optional.

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 twelve reps. 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 Section 38 disability service provider, or any other DPO or “self advocacy group”.
  • 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 info@vvi.ie

Áine Wellard (Dublin City): Secretary of VVI, specialisations
include 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, Research, Outreach & DPOs, Travel.

Barry O’Donnell, (Kerry, Fingal): accessible broadcasting, Health & Personal Assistance, Education.

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

Ed Harper (Co. Cork), agriculture, rural transport, rights of
older people, social justics and social inclusion.

Meadhbh Hennessy (Limerick): health and disability-related services.

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 Martin O’Sullivan (Dublin City): social inclusion and social justice, accessible communications.

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

Robbie Sinnott (Dublin City): VVI Co-ordinator/Chairperson and rep on Dublin City PPN, and PPN rep to Dublin City Planning SPC. Specialities include accessible travel and DPO rights.

Rosemarie Anne Fearsaor Hughes (Dublin City): accessible
communications, housing, travel, social inclusion and justice, and rights of access to the justice system.

Tim Culhane (Dublin City): accessible communication and travel (Dublin City).