There are an estimated 31,000 people living with sight loss in Northern Ireland. Having to face barriers and obstacles daily, support from local and major organisations makes a difference. Highlighted in this article are 4 charities that improve and enrich the lives of blind and partially sighted people across the country.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People, Northern Ireland (RNIB NI) is the largest charity supporting anyone affected by sight loss in the country. They provide services to help with eye conditions diagnosis, sight loss certification and registration, available benefits, independent daily living, assistive technology, housing, education, employment, and social, leisure and sports activities. Their Reading Services make print materials accessible to blind, partially sighted, and print disabled people. Partnering with other organisations and individuals with sight loss, they promote accessibility to help people live independently and to make society more inclusive.
The Macular Society is focused on working to ‘beat Macular diseases’. They fund research that will potentially lead to effective treatments and prevention. In Northern Ireland, they support individuals, families, and carers affected by sight loss due to a macular eye diseases. They provide information about patients’ diagnoses and emotional support. They promote peer support, hold events, and work with policy makers to improve conditions for those experiencing vision loss.
Angel Eyes NI is a charity that focuses on helping children and young people living with sight loss in Northern Ireland. CEO, Sara McCracken, founded Angel Eyes NI in 2007, after coming to terms with her twins being born with visual impairments. Her experiences gave her insight into helping other parents in their journeys to help their children reach their potential while dealing with sight loss. They provide emotional support and practical tools to families, from the very beginning when their child is diagnosed, through their school years. Additionally, they work with professionals and other organsiations to promote an inclusive environment for children and young people.
Located in Belfast, Guide Dog Northern Ireland is dedicated to helping blind and partially sighted people of all ages acquire the skills they need to be independent. They do this by providing guide dogs and mobility training. They collaborate with other organisations and individuals with sight loss to gain insight that can improve mobility. Guide Dog NI are advocates for accessibility and the rights of guide dog owners.
To learn about other organisations supporting people affected by sight loss, check out the following related articles:
RNIB NI – Supporting Anyone Affected by Sight Loss in Northern Ireland
By Guenivir Kendrick with help from ChatGPT
Angel Eyes NI Services. (n.d.). Angel Eyes Ni. Angel Eyes NI. Retrieved April 29, 2023, from https://www.angeleyesni.org/
Macular Society. (2023). Macular Society Services in Northern Ireland. Macular Society. Retrieved April 29, 2023, from https://www.macularsociety.org/about/organisation/regions/northern-ireland/#policy
Royal National Institute of Blind People. (2023). Services from RNIB Northern Ireland. RNIB. Retrieved April 29, 2023, from https://www.rnib.org.uk/nations/northern-ireland/services-from-rnib-northern-ireland/
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association . (2023). Guide dogs northern ireland. Guide Dogs Site. Retrieved April 29, 2023, from https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/guide-dogs-northern-ireland/
Image credit RNIB Northern Ireland.