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In 2009, the four main sight-loss service organisations in Ireland came together to create an alliance to help their organisations work more effectively, and to improve the quality and delivery of services to those with sight loss. The Vision Impaired Service Providers Alliance (VISPA) was formed to work informally through collaboration on key objectives for their members.

Creating a Sight Loss Strategy – 2012

The first of these objectives was to support the creation of a sight-loss strategy for agencies that deliver rehabilitative and support services for vision-impaired people.  An informal Vision Coalition was created involving the four agencies, user representatives, clinical and paramedical professionals in ophthalmology and optometry, as well as commercial organisations with an interest in creating better outcomes for patients and service users.  Initially, a fact-finding report on the cost of sight-loss to the Irish economy as well as users was published in 2011 – The Cost of Sight Loss (May 2011).   The following year, a strategy was delivered to the Irish government in 2012 –  Framework to Adopt a Strategic Approach for Vision Health in Ireland.

New VISPA Objectives 2019

New objectives were agreed in late 2019 by the chief executives of  the member organisations that seek to:

    1. Enhance, facilitate and support a complementary approach to service delivery between the four members
    2. Generate greater awareness of issues at public and political levels through VISPA-led advocacy programmes
    3. Agree, maintain and share up to date statistics, surveys and other data as appropriate with due regard for their copyright and ownership
    4. Enhance efficiency and effectiveness for service users by providing a clearer understanding of the range of services available through an upgraded VISPA website
    5. Achieve greater understanding of each other and encourage interaction at all levels through workshops, planning groups, seminars, and training programmes
    6. Enhance collaboration in the pursuit of VISPA’s Statement of Purpose to deliver better and more widely available services to those that need them
    7. Work together to ensure that rehabilitation and support services are recognised, valued and referred to by other eye-health professionals within the Irish health system.
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