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- 2. Collaboration
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Goal: To provide services in partnership with those who use them and, where appropriate, to collaborate with other organisations in promoting the well-being, social and cultural inclusion, and the economic independence, of people who are blind or vision impaired.
To this end, we continued to work with other sight loss organisations through VISPA (Vision Impaired Service Providers Alliance). VISPA is made up of NCBI, Fighting Blindness, St Joseph’s Centre for the Visually Impaired and Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.
An outcome of lobbying by NCBI and the Irish College of Ophthalmologists saw Dr James Reilly, Minister for Health appoint a clinical lead in ophthalmology later in 2011, a very positive indication of the Department of Health’s commitment to creating a seamless patient experience for people with eye conditions.
In October, as lobbying efforts to progress the national vision strategy continued, Des Kenny and Avril Daly, CEO of Fighting Blindness, represented VISPA at a presentation to Seanad Éireann on the work of VISPA and the need for a comprehensive vision strategy.
The second annual Vision Week took place from 9th to 15th October, with a focus on asking the Government to ‘See Our View’. Having been subjected to harsh cuts in Budget 2011, over 250 people who are blind or vision impaired marched under the VISPA banner to Dáil Éireann on World Sight Day, 13th October, to demand that people who are blind or vision impaired were not subjected to any further budget cuts in 2012.
Through membership of the Disability Federation of Ireland and the Not for Profit Business Association, NCBI worked with other disability organisations in advancing improvements in services for all people with disabilities.
NCBI is a member of the European Blind Union (EBU) and the World Blind Union (WBU). At EBU level, NCBI lobbied with other national organisations for improved accessibility of public websites throughout the EU. Work undertaken as a member of the WBU included making representations for the improvement of copyright legislation, which would make it easier for people who are blind or vision impaired to obtain access to published books across country boundaries.