Formerly known as St. Joseph’s Centre for the Visually Impaired, we have been providing support to families across Ireland since our education service began in the 1950s.
When the Carmelite Brothers first sought to help Ireland’s blind, Dublin of the 1800s was a far different place. Known as the Second City of the British Empire, Dublin’s slums were among the worst in the world. Blind people were seen as incapable of meaningful work.
But the brothers were wheelwrights and farriers, who knew the gift of sight was precious. And in an extraordinary act of faith, they build workshops for blind men, perhaps Ireland’s first. Slowly the men in their care learned and were filled with a new dignity. The Archbishop appointed the Rosminian Order to oversee the centre in 1955, and it was later called St. Joseph’s Centre for the Visually Impaired.
In 2012 we became ChildVision, National Education Centre for Blind Children. Helped by donations from caring people across Ireland, ChildVision now touches the lives of over 600 families who have blind or visually impaired children, many with additional disabilities. Still at the Drumcondra location where the Brothers began, today we are managed by a CEO and lay board on which a number of Rosminians sit, and faith in a better future for Ireland’s blind children remains at the heart of our work.