NCBI Position Papers
NCBI recognises the environmental benefits of electric vehicles and we encourage the increased acceptance of greener vehicles as they play an important role in improving fuel economy and reducing emissions. However, NCBI is concerned that the introduction of electric vehicles will have safety implications for all pedestrians, including pedestrians who are blind or vision impaired.
Right to Read 
Everyone has the right to read but unfortunately realising this right is more difficult for some people. All people living in Ireland have access to free books from their publicly funded local library but at least 14,800 blind or vision impaired people rely on one primary source for accessible reading material – NCBI’s library.
Shared Space 
Shared space is a traffic calming measure originally developed in the Netherlands, which creates a street space that is shared by motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike.
The difficulty with this concept for people who are blind or vision impaired is that it places the emphasis on eye contact and person-to-person negotiation between those using the space to decide on right of way.
One of the fundamental principles of democracy is the right to vote in secret in free and fair elections. Article 16 of the Constitution of Ireland states that all citizens who have reached the age of 18 years and who are not disqualified by law can vote in elections for Dáil Éireann. Although the Constitution also states that voting is done by secret ballot with each voter having only one vote, people who are blind or vision impaired are being denied this right and for thousands of people in Ireland, voting remains inaccessible.
NCBI provides a range of services to people who are blind and vision impaired in the Republic of Ireland. Many of these services are delivered on behalf of the State and are funded by the Department of Health through the Health Service Executive. Currently, NCBI provides services to over 17,000 people living with significant sight loss and we are experiencing an annual increase in our service user base of approximately 12% year-on-year.
NCBI aims to increase more widespread provision of audible signals and tactile paving at traffic lights in the correct manner.
NCBI Submissions to Public Bodies
Here are some of NCBI’s latest responses to the government public consultations process which are of interest to people who are blind or vision impaired.
NCBI made a submission to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland's (BAI) Access Rules Review. Read our Submission to the BAI Access Rules. 
- Law Reform Commission Report on Jury Service.
- Health Service Executive National Consent Policy.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Report on the work and employment of persons with disabilities.
- Review of the Domiciliary Care Allowance Scheme.
Health Service Executive Review of Your Service, Your Say (the Policy and Procedure for the Management of Consumer Feedback).
- Health Service Executive Draft National Guidelines for Service User Feedback.
- Health Information and Quality Authority Draft National Standards for Residential Centres for People with Disabilities.
Department of Health and the HSE Draft National Healthcare Charter for Paediatric Services.
Health Information and Quality Authority Draft Report on Cataract Surgery Threshold generated as part of a Health Technology Assessment on Scheduled Surgical Procedures.
NCBI also made submissions to a number of strategies under development, including the:
- National Positive Ageing Strategy;
- the Garda Siochána Strategy for the Older Person and
- Citizens Information Board Strategy.
TV Access 
With the introduction of digital terrestrial television in Ireland starting in 2009, the TV Access coalition, of which NCBI is a key member, was set up ensure that the new digital television service is accessible, usable and affordable for people with vision impairments.
Share Your Story and Make a Difference
Share your real life experiences of sight loss to help us to get our message across to the media.
NCBI’s wants to promote an understanding of the needs of people who are blind and vision impaired, raise awareness of NCBI services and raise much needed funds. To help us to do this, we need to use stories in the media to get coverage in national and regional newspapers, online, on the radio and television.
The media are always interested in real life experiences of people who are living with sight loss. If you are willing to help, find out more .
For more information on our policy work or to find out more about NCBI’s consultation responses please contact us on locall 1850 33 43 53 or email email@example.com .