Founded in Genoa on 26 October 1920. Today it is a Non Profit Organisation of Social Utility, an institution of associative nature and private body the main goal of which is the social integration of the visually impaired and their unity as a category.
It represents and safeguards the moral and material interests of the blind and severely visually impaired persons at public administration level and at bodies and institutions that look after the assistance, education and vocational training of the visually impaired.
The Union is the only association of the blind that allows only the totally blind and people with severe vision reduction to become full members and has a Constitution that states that all decision-making posts must be assigned to these categories of individuals mainly.
The UIC favours full implementation of the human, civil and social rights of the blind, it also co-operates with National Health Services, Universities, Research Institutes, Cultural and Sports bodies, and vocational training establishments.
In order to reach its objectives the Union has created services to compensate for the lack of adequate social services provided by state and public bodies.
These services include:
- The National Talking Book Centre for the production of books recorded onto cassette (apart from the vision impaired, other persons with difficulty in reading can make use of this service).
- The National Technical Aids Centre for the production and distribution of special teaching and recreational material aids for independence in mobility and everyday living, as well as high technology aids that are either computer or non computer based.
- The Institute for Research, Training and Rehabilitation (I.Ri.Fo.R.), which works on a non-profit basis, in the areas mentioned in its name.
- The Italian Union of Volunteers for the Blind (U.N.I.Vo.C.), a voluntary organisation set up for those who wish to devote a part of their leisure time to solving various problems that the blind face every day (above all the elderly and people living alone).
At present the Italian Union of the Blind is involved in the following activities:
- The defence of its social achievements which are continuously brought up for discussion just as the whole "welfare state" is brought up for discussion.
- The improvement of its services.
- Research into new appropriate ways of intervening aimed at improving the quality of life and making the social integration of the vision impaired a reality.