Ireland - Article 26

(updated 08/01/2018)

Law and Policy

  1. Is there a legal right to habilitation and rehabilitation services in your country?

    Have access to rather than a legal right to habilitation and rehabilitation services

    Please describe relevant laws and give links to further information for:

    • a. Health
    • b. Education
    • c. Employment
    • d. Social Services
  2. Is there a legal right to assistive technology, aids and equipment? (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons

    Have access to rather than a right to

  3. Do laws on rehabilitation recognise and support participation in all aspects of community life?

    No laws on rehabilitation

  4. Are there policies on habilitation and rehabilitation services for people who are blind or partially sighted?
    • a. For children who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    • b. For adults of working age who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    • c. For older people who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons

      Agencies have a service arrangement with the government Department of Health, individual agencies create their own policies

  5. Do policies recognise the importance of a personalised multidisciplinary assessment of each individual´s needs and circumstances? Please describe the policies and give web links to more information, for people who are: a. Blind persons b. Partially sighted persons

    Yes. Individual agencies have their own policies. NCBI is committed to providing service based on a person centred approach by facilitating individual’s to participate in decisions about the service they receive.

  6. Are there policies on developing peer support for habilitation and rehabilitation?
    • a. For children (please also include policies on family support) who are (i) Blind (ii) Partially sighted
    • b. For people of working age who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    • c. For older people who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons

      NCBI facilitates peer support for children& families, working age & older adults through workshops, self-management groups and one to one peer support.

  7. Are there resources for peer support services?

    NCBI have a virtual technology club. Fighting Blindness run an ‘exchange club’ – based on sharing technology information.

  8. Do blind and visually impaired people and their organisations fully participate as equal partners in the development of policies and standards for habilitation and rehabilitation services?

    NCBI have a regular feedback and consultative process with service users

Access to Habilitation and Rehabilitation

Support Services

  1. Are there dedicated services for both partially sighted and blind people that meet their distinct needs? Are these habilitation and rehabilitation services focussed on supporting independent living in the community living for people:

    Yes

  2. What is the full range of services in your country

    NCBI provide a range of services to support people with sight loss to include, advice & information, emotional support & counselling, low vision solutions, employment support, assistive technology advice and training, rehabilitation training & a library service. Child Vision, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind-

  3. How is eligibility determined to access habilitation and rehabilitation services for

    The guidelines on general access criteria to NCBI services are as follows: An individual must have:
    Low vision – a person who experiences vision loss which is bilateral, not correctable by surgery or refractive correction and that interferes with the ability to perform the activities of daily living.
    Ophthalmic diagnosis

  4. Who provides habilitation and rehabilitation services (for example, dedicated blindness and low vision rehabilitation and support centres, hospitals (private and public), NGOs)?

    NCBI-Working for People with Sight Loss
    Child Vision
    Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

  5. Are services available locally in all parts of the country?

    Yes

  6. How are services funded (for example, free, paid for by the user, means tested)?

    Funded by HSE & NGO’s. Services are free to the service user however there can be a cost for low vision aids and assistive technology aids

  7. If services are not free have any problems of affordability been reported?

    Cost of low vision aids and assistive technology aids is a barrier

  8. Are services available for all age groups: children, adults and older people?

    Yes

Access to Equipment and Technologies

  1. The CRPD states that governments should make sure disabled people know about aids, technology and assistive devices and how to use them. How is this done in your country?

    Information available via agencies providing service,

  2. What training is provided in the use of equipment and technology?

    Training is provided by NCBI on the use of equipment and technology as required by the individual

  3. How is eligibility for equipment, technology and training determined?

    Eligibility for equipment technology and training is based on identified need

  4. How are aids, equipment and technology funded (for example, free, paid for by the user, means tested)?

    A mix of means tested where if eligible funded by Department of Health, grants and paid for by service user

  5. If services are not free have any problems of affordability been reported?

    Cost of technology and equipment can be expensive for those who have to self fund

  6. Are there any limitations on the choice of equipment? What are these?

    Lack of funding and/or affordability. Availability of equipment for trial prior to purchase.

Development of the Competence of Professionals

  1. Are there training programmes for rehabilitation professionals? Please describe these (If there is accredited training, the qualifications recognised, where people are trained, to what level etc.)
  2. Please describe how rehabilitation professionals are trained. Does training emphasise meeting needs on an individual basis?
  3. Does professional training incorporate human rights perspectives?
  4. Additional comments on professional training

    NCBI have had workers accredited through ACVREP (Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals) as Certified Low Vision Therapists

Your Organisation

  1. Does your organisation represent both blind and partially sighted people in your country?

    Yes

  2. What are the conditions for someone with visual impairment to become a member of your organisation or use its services? Please be as specific as possible both for blind and partially sighted people.

    The guidelines on general access criteria to NCBI services are as follows: An individual must have:
    Low vision – a person who experiences vision loss which is bilateral, not correctable by surgery or refractive correction and that interferes with the ability to perform the activities of daily living.
    Ophthalmic diagnosis

  3. Is this strictly applied, or is there more flexibility in practice?
  4. Is there another organisation that a person with visual impairment can turn to if they cannot affiliate to your organisation or if you cannot meet their needs? Please give as many details as possible.

    Child vision & Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

  5. How is your organisation involved in the implementation of the right to habilitation and rehabilitation support services and programmes for both blind people and people with partial sight? Please give as much detail as possible, especially regarding:
    • a. policies and standards
    • b. monitoring of implementation
    • c. actions to ensure that dedicated services are in place that meet the distinct needs of blind and partially sighted people.
    • d. actual provision of services to blind and partially sighted people and the rights that people with visual impairment have to services.

      NCBI have developed policies and standards of service and monitor their implementation. NCBI is committed to providing service based on a person centred approach by facilitating individual’s to participate in decisions about the service they receive. NCBI provide a range of services to support people with sight loss to include, advice & information, emotional support & counselling, low vision solutions, employment support, assistive technology advice and training, rehabilitation training & a library service

  6. Is there an officer or expert appointed in your organisation to work on partial sight matters? Please describe.

    NCBI have centres around the country each with staff working directly with service users with partial vision.

  7. What actions is your organisation taking to implement the right to rehabilitation services with dedicated, distinct services for blind people and people who have low vision, and to ensure that these services are/will be available in practice? Please give details (examples: lobbying, cooperation with rehabilitation centres, setting up support services, cooperation with universities to develop specific training for rehabilitation experts etc.)

    NCBI provide a range of services to support people with sight loss, we have a Director of Policy & Advocacy

  8. How does your organisation inform people with visual impairments and the general public about living with blindness and partial sight? (Examples: a website, a national helpline, information stands in hospitals, campaigns, etc.)

    Website, information leaflets available in hospitals, GP surgeries etc. Campaigns such as ARMD week, glaucoma week

  9. How does your organisation inform others about the available habilitation and rehabilitation and support services for blind and partially sighted people?

    As above

  10. In what way is your organisation working with specialised ophthalmologists, optometrists, rehabilitation centres, and teachers, residential homes for older people etc. to prevent, inform and support people with visual impairment?

    NCBI is part of the National Vision Coalition along with healthcare professionals, those working in the sight loss community, and service users

  11. Is your organisation involved in the Vision 2020 initiative in your country?

    Yes

  12. Are you familiar with the EBU standards for low vision services in Europe toolkit for implementing the right of partially sighted people to the services they need? How helpful is this resource document?

    Yes – it’s a useful toolkit setting out standards in achieving a high quality low vision service

  13. What, if any, type of support would you like to have to implement UNCRPD article 26 for blind and partially sighted people? Be as specific as possible. n/a
  14. If you compare the current situation with five years ago, regarding the implementation of the right to rehabilitation services for blind people and for people with partial sight, would you say that in your country:
    • a. nothing has changed (explain )
    • b. The situation has worsened (explain why and how)
    • c. The situation has improved (explain why and how)

      c. NCBI now have a dedicated children’s team and are working on developed a working age team and older person’s team. NCBI service is continually developing and improving.

  15. Please send any articles, material, training, standards, protocols, or links that you feel could perhaps serve your colleagues in other EBU countries aiming at high standards services for everyone with sight loss.

    N/A