Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired is a special service provider with a social element as well as an advocacy organization for the blind and the partially sighted.
The aim of the Federation is to secure the blind and visually impaired an equal status with other Finnish citizens. To achieve this the Federation seeks to improve the capabilities and skills of the visually impaired, while also trying to influence the society at large.
The Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired
- looks after the interests of the blind and partially sighted
- is a specialist of rehabilitation from children to seniors
- provides consulting regarding employment
- provides IT training and guidance, import, sales and lending of technical aids and production of braille, large-print and audio materials as well as the transmission of newspapers, magazines and other publications by means of information technology.
- provides guide dog training
- creates opportunities for shared leisure activities
- maintains a strong network of international contacts by projects and development cooperation.
The visually impaired have established number of associations (14 regional and 11 activity related).The associations look after the interests of the visually impaired within their own areas and provide information services and arrange leisure activities. Regional associations are divided into 80 local branches.
The services of the Federation are available for all who need information and/or counselling about seeing regardless of official diagnosis of visual impairment or association membership.
Visual impairment in Finland - general information
There are about 80 000 visually impaired people in Finland; roughly 10 000 of them are blind. About 80% of the visually impaired are elderly people and about 6% (1500) are under 18 years of age. About 10 000 visually impaired people are in their working-age. One third of registered visually impaired has also some other disability or a long-term illness.
Most common reason for visual impairment is age-related macular degeneration. Other common reasons among pensioners are glaucoma and diabetes.
Within children visual impairment is mostly caused by congenital anomalies of eye and disorders of visual pathway. Within working-age the most common reasons are diabetes, glaucoma, neurological diseases and hereditary eye diseases that often appears in young adulthood.
Accidents concerning eyes have diminished significantly since using diverse protection. Also blindness related to premature birth is falling down although it is still the fourth common reason for visual impairment within children. Developed medicines have also decreased infections as a cause for visual impairment.
Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired
FIN-00030 IIRIS Finland
Tel. +358-9-396 041
Fax: +358-9-3960 4625
email in format: firstname.lastname@example.org