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Sport and leisure

Sport and leisure content

Sporting and recreational activities for people of all ages living with sight loss in Ireland.

In this section

 

Physical activity and sport

Vision Sports Ireland

Vision Sports Ireland is the national governing body for sport for people who are vision impaired. Their mission is to enable people living with sight loss to participate fully in sport and recreational activities of their choice. Vision Sports Ireland caters for the competitive and recreational needs of its members, who participate at all levels, from have a go days to elite Paralympic competition. For more information, visit their website here or contact them on sports@visionsports.ie or 085 8500 193.

Irish Blind Golf Society

The Irish Blind Golf Society is a volunteer organisation that enables people who are blind or visually impaired to learn golf, or continue playing golf, regardless of their vision. More information on joining the Irish Blind Golf Society can be found on their website here or by contacting irishblindgolf@hotmail.com.

Braille Chess Association of Ireland

The Braille Chess Association of Ireland was established in 1985 to promote Chess among people with sight loss. The BCAI hosts national competitions and organises teams and individuals to represent Ireland at international level. For more information visit their website here.

Dance For All workshops

Laura Sarah Dowdall offers dance workshops for people living with sight loss on an ongoing basis in Dublin. For more information visit her website here or contact laura@runningblind.ie.

Local Sports Partnerships – Sport Ability

Local Sports Partnerships (LSP) are a Sport Ireland initiative that promote participation in sport and physical activity at a local level all over Ireland. Part of the ethos of the Local Sports Partnerships is inclusion in sport for people of all abilities. Sports Inclusion Disability Officers (SIDOs) work in each LSP to increase participation in sport and physical activity by people with disabilities. You can find your local sports partnership on the Sport Ireland website here.

Parkrun

ParkRun is a free timed 5km event that takes place every Saturday morning in parks across Ireland and the world. The event is open to walkers, joggers and runners. Parkrun actively encourages people with sight loss to participate and has introduced sighted guides at a number of parkruns around the country.

If you would like to learn more please contact joan.ryan@parkrun.com. To find your local parkrun or register as a participant visit their website here. There is also a junior Parkrun, a series of 2k runs for children aged between 4 and 14, for more information visit their website here.

Paralympics Ireland

Paralympics Ireland aims to ensure that elite athletes with disabilities are trained by top-class coaches, leading athletes to a high level of competitive success. For more information about how to get involved please visit their website here or contact 01 625 1175.

 

Social activities and the arts

Visionaries School of the Arts

The Visionaries School of the Arts is a Fighting Blindness quality of life initiative that offers people an opportunity to explore their creativity. It’s a unique learning environment specifically designed for people who are visually impaired and blind. For more information, visit our Visionaries School of the Arts page.

NCBI Activity Centres

The Iona Centre in Dublin provides a variety of physical activity and leisure activities for people living with sight loss. For more information contact iona@ncbi.ie or 01 830 4014.

The Lochrann Centre in Wexford offers a wide variety of day services and social activities for both groups and individuals living with sight loss. For details contact 053 9124342.

More information about activities at both centres can be found on the NCBI website here.

National League of the Blind of Ireland Trust

The League offers a number of physical activity and social events on a weekly basis in Dublin, including yoga classes, swimming groups, guided walks, coffee mornings and social evenings. Find out more information on their website here or contact nlbi@eircom.net or 01 874 2792.

ViP Meet Ups

The ViP Social Club welcomes people with any level of vision impairment to participate in regular organised social events in the Dublin area, such as nature walks, music performances, and comedy shows. For more information, or to join the group, visit their Meetup page.

Arts and Disability Ireland

Arts and Disability Ireland is the national development and resource organisation for arts and disability. The organisation promotes engagement with the arts for people with disabilities and advocate for accessibility in all areas of the arts.

Their website provides information about accessible exhibitions, performances and screenings. Many galleries and museums provide tours designed for people with sight loss.

Audio description is available in most theatre shows and cinemas can provide audio description of screenings. For more information visit their website or contact 01 8509 002 or info@adiarts.ie.

 

Reading and audiobooks

NCBI Library

The NCBI Library offers a wide range of books in alternative formats, including Braille, large print and audio. For more information visit their website here or contact 01 8642266 or library@ncbi.ie.

Public Libraries

Libraries Ireland offer a wide range of services online and in your local library, including eBooks, large print and audiobooks. Some libraries have additional resources for people living with sight loss, such as book clubs, auxiliary aids and accessible software. For further information, and to find your local library, visit the Libraries Ireland website here.

Borrow Box

All public libraries offer people with sight loss access to the Borrow Box service. This service allows you to download text and audio books for free for a limited time using your library barcode and library pin number. Ask your local library for details about Borrow Box or visit their website here.

Calibre Audio Library

Calibre Audio Library is a UK charity providing a subscription-free service of unabridged audio books for adults and children with sight problems, dyslexia or other disabilities, who cannot read print. For more information visit their website here or contact enquiries@calibre.org.uk.

LibriVox

LibriVox provides free public domain audio books, read by volunteers. These books can be downloaded so you can listen to them anywhere, on a computer or smartphone. Visit their website here for more information and to sign up as either a volunteer or a listener.

Audible

Audible is a website and app that produces and sells audiobooks. You can buy the books directly or subscribe for a number of books per month. You can listen to Audible on your computer, smartphone or most other devices. For full details visit their website here.

Digital book services

Most digital book services are accessible to people with sight loss. iBooks, Google Books and Kindle are all good options. These platforms allow you to increase the font size or change the colour of the text and background, and are compatible with screen readers.