NCBI Urges #Budget2022 To Prioritize Needs Of People Who Are Blind Or Vision Impaired
NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland) is calling on Government and all political parties to be more inclusive so that Budget2022 makes a tangible difference in the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired.
June Tinsley, NCBI Head of Advocacy and Communications said:
"Emerging from Covid19 presents an opportunity to create a more inclusive and accessible society.
NCBI believes people who are blind or vision impaired should be able to fully access and participate in all aspects of life but continually face many barriers.
These can be fixed with greater investment across government departments, more forward planning, attitudinal change and public awareness campaigns.”
NCBI’s 2022 Pre Budget Submission spans key areas of government spending and services which need to be enhanced to guarantee timely interventions; appropriate housing solutions; improved 3rd level educational and employment opportunities; more access through technology as well as raising the incomes for those reliant on social welfare.
Expand Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLO’s) service into all acute eye hospital settings with 7 posts in total = €490,000.
A ringfenced funding allocation of the Disabled Persons Grant Scheme & Improvement Works, for use when adapting housing to bespoke requirements of an applicant who is blind or vision impaired.
Extension of Workplace Adaptation Grants to State agencies and charities.
Roll out of a national Transition Year programme for students who are blind or vision impaired, with ringfenced funding of an additional €150,000 per annum.
Improved compliance by statutory departments and agencies with European Web Accessibility Directive so their websites are fully accessible and all functionality can be done by people who are blind or vision impaired.
Increase to basic social welfare rate for the Blind Pension and Disability Allowance by €20.
As NCBI celebrates its 90th year in 2021 it is obvious strides have been made in some areas, but the needs of people who are blind or vision impaired remain excluded from other aspects of society.
Covid19 demonstrated flexibility and innovation in our collective response, this must continue and be supported by Government to create a more inclusive and accessible society.