The All Russia Association of the Blind (VOS)
Key Facts and Figures
The All Russia Association of the Blind (VOS) was founded in 1925 and unites visually impaired citizens of the Russian Federation and their legitimate representatives. VOS was established to lobby the interests and protect the rights of visually impaired people, provide social support, rehabilitation, help them to integrate into society and create equal opportunities for them.
Today VOS operates throughout the Russian Federation and in compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, the Federal Law №7-FZ of January 12, 1996 "On Non-Commercial Organizations", the Federal Law No. 82-FZ of May 19, 1995 " On Public Associations”, Federal Law No. 181-FZ of November 24, 1995 “On the Social Protection of Disabled Persons in the Russian Federation”, other regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation and provisions of the Charter of the All Russia Public Organization of the Disabled “All Russia awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor Association of the Blind”. VOS includes 75 regional branches which incorporate 779 local organisations and unite over 214,000 of visually impaired people from all over the Russian Federation.
VOS has the official branding – a flag, an emblem, an anthem – that comply to legal requirements.
As of December 1, 2022 VOS unites 188 000 people. It comprises 76 regional organisations including 739 local organisations, the number of those that operate on the territory of a district – 8, republic – 21, autonomous region – 1, region – 44 as well as Moscow and St-Petersburg city organisations. All of the regional organisations are situated in 8 Federal Regions. Since December 2021 Vladimir Sipkin has been the President of the VOS.
VOS main goals are:
- To participate in determination and implementation of the state policy with regard to visually impaired people;
- to assist and take part in vocational, social and pedagogical rehabilitation, employment and integration;
- To promote physical culture and sports among visually impaired people.
To deliver the above mission goals VOS has established the following social infrastructure:
- Federal rehabilitation center – VOS Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Volokolamsk (the Moscow region) with two branches in Biysk (the Altai region) and in Zheleznogorsk (the Kursk region);
- VOS Russian guide dog school (the Moscow region);
- VOS Sports and Cultural Rehabilitation Complex (Moscow);
- The Institute for Vocational Rehabilitation and Advanced Training of VOS staff “Rehacomp” is the leading basic institution for scientific and methodological work. It is also the organisation of comprehensive rehabilitation of visually impaired people within VOS system. It delivers activities for training of visually impaired people in various additional vocational programmes using computer technologies, providing training and advanced training for the All Russia Association of the Blind personnel, practical application of new scientific and pedagogical approaches to the rehabilitation and training of people with severe visual impairment. The Institute works out regulatory and legal documents as well as state ones. It is the creator and the copyright holder of the concept of audio comments in Russia.
VOS rehabilitation centers are unique institutions which annually help more than 900 visually impaired people to get social and vocational rehabilitation.
- Seven regional cultural and sports rehabilitation centers in the cities of Ekaterinburg, Ioshkar-Ola, Kazan, Perm, Ulianovsk, Cheliabinsk and Yaroslavl as well as about 40 sports clubs that hold rehabilitation events for VOS members.
- Sports rehabilitation and hotel facilities center (Moscow) which provides 46 rooms and serves to fulfil the “Social tourism for the Visually Impaired” programme. For the past 10 years almost every regional organisation for visually impaired people have taken part in the project. Every group visits the best city museums and exhibitions’ expositions during a week. VOS sports rehabilitation and hotel facilities center constantly updates the content of educational materials with regard to visually impaired people together with the cultural institutions’ executives.- VOS owns and manages three specialised health resorts which provide comprehensive health assessment and treatment for visually impaired people all the year through. The capacity of VOS health resorts is 963 accommodations in total:
- “Solnechniy Bereg” (“The Sunny Shore) – the city of Gelendzhik, Krasnodar region – 462 accommodations;
- “Mashuk”, the city of Pyatigorsk, Stavropol region – 278 accommodations;
- “Sosny” (“The Pines”), Moscow region – 223 accommodations.
A new modern building in “Solnechniy bereg” health resort was opened in 2022.
VOS health resorts are specialized multidisciplinary institutions that have a high-tech medical equipment, swimming pools and provide the necessary facilities for comfortable and safe stay of visually impaired adults and children. Health resorts provide complex treatment, rehabilitation, adaptation and cultural and leisure programmes for the Visually Impaired as part of the provision of state social assistance. For the purpose of execution of state contract health resorts welcome from six to eight thousand visually impaired people annually.
- Two publishing houses – VOS Printing and Publishing Tiflo Resourse Compex “Logosvos” in Moscow and Private institution VOS Publishing and Printing Association “Chteniye” (“Reading”) in St Petersburg publish books and brochures with extended ink print and in Braille, digital “talking” books in a special secure format, manuals in Braille and others. Publishing products are sent to specialized libraries for the Blind, schools, rehabilitation centers, VOS regional organisations.
VOS has established and supports 167 factories in 68 territorial entities of the Russian Federation. Their main purpose - employment of blind and partially sighted people who are the most sophisticated category of people with disabilities in terms of manufacturing processes adaptation and equipping workspaces. They also serve the purpose of social and vocational integration as well as providing additional profit to disability pension.
These factories employ about 10,100 people including 5,439 people with disabilities, 3,122 of them are visually impaired. They also possess qualified personnel who is able to successfully deal with vocational rehabilitation matters of people with disabilities and produce highly-demanded goods in different fields of state economics like components for aircraft industry, electrical goods, packages, plastic and metal products, consumer goods.
For competitive reasons, for saving of work places for people with disabilities, creating additional conditions for their employment factories modernize its production facilities, expand product line using VOS state support means, VOS budget and regional sponsorship as financial resources. These efforts help factories to keep its production efficiency on a good level and assist impaired people in implementation of their right to work and social services.
VOS helps blind and partially sighted people to find work not only on its factories but in Association’s institutions and organisations, open labor market, lobbies the improvement of the labor legislation at federal and regional levels with regard to visually impaired people interests. Information resources on the matter of employment help blind and partially sighted people significantly to find a job. The most popular professions are masseurs, tiflo pedagogues, computer specialists, sound producers, musicians, psychologists, lawyers.
The Council for Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Habilitation of the Visually Impaired operates under VOS Central Board. E. Tedeev, VOS Vice-president, IPTK “Logosvos” Director general, is the Chaiman of the Council. It consists of permanent working groups, each focuses on one of the following matters: social rehabilitation, vocational training, physical culture and sports, sociocultural rehabilitation, support and protection of interests of women and children, etc.
Youth policy is the strategic priority of development of the All Russia Association of the Blind. The leading role here plays the movement of young visually impaired people who are involved in VOS regional organisations, factories and institutions. Regional and All Russia Youth Educational Forums are held annually as support measures for the Youth.
VOS Central Board establishes its own awards, honorary titles, insignias and certificates for members of VOS and other persons actively participating in the life of the Association.
Follow VOS at :
- The official website of the All Russia Association of the Blind: https://www.vos.org.ru/;
- VOS literature magazine "Our Life", date of establishment - 1924, form of issue – ink print and Braille;
- VOS socio-political and literature audio magazine "Dialogue", date of establishment - April 1988, - SD-card;
- The official Internet radio station of the All Russia Association of the Blind "Radio VOS" http://www.radiovos.ru/, date of establishment - February 1, 2011, form of release - Internet broadcasting;
VOS activities are also available in:
- VKontakte social network, MediaVOS community: https://vk.com/vosmediapress
- Telegram "MediaVOS": https://t.me/MediaVOS
- WhatsApp messenger, MediaVOS group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/F9wW3WiFFTtGAhPgJVdtZO
- YouTube video hosting, MediaVOS channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-09ZZN2ymd8&t=12s
Besides there are more than two hundred websites of organizations, factories and institutions of VOS.