CSO Spotlight: Persons Associated with Visual Impairment (PAVI)

Persons Associated with Visual Impairment (PAVI), was established on October 26, 1995 and is managed and operated mostly by blind and visually impaired persons. Its primary objective is to provide rehabilitation services for blind and visually impaired persons, who were losing or recently lost sight. This is accomplished by training, rehab and counseling. By helping affected persons combat dependency syndrome, they’ll regain the reins to their life, thus giving them the opportunity to continue to exercise independence and a level of control in their daily lives. 

One thing they’d like to advise the well-meaning public to not assume is that if someone is visually impaired he/she is also hard of hearing or is not able to think or act for themselves. It’s okay to talk to them and have a conversation, but it is not okay to talk down to them. 

Bhawani Persad speaks at PAVI’s Christmas Luncheon 2022

PAVI’s greatest and most fulfilling achievement to date has been lobbying for blind persons to vote independently, through use of a template during both national and local government elections. This was done in 1997. Awareness was brought to the Elections and Boundaries Commission, the general public and clients. Currently similar efforts are made through traditional and social media such as working alongside the United Nations and people with disabilities to help propose amendments to the Education Act. This in turn would ensure that children regardless of their disabilities, would have equal opportunity to quality education. 

Similar to most non-profits, most of PAVI’s concern lies in funding and financial support. However they endure through a combination of willingness and the dedication of their clients.  

In their efforts to build a strong and lasting community, PAVI’s plan of action for 2023: includes two national seminars focusing on youth and women  and a number of fundraising initiatives to assist us in initiating the seminars. These include a Bingo, Boat Cruise and an annual Christmas luncheon. They also have a monthly Radio program on Talk City 91.1 on the last Wednesday of each month. There’s also a Youtube channel (PAVI) and Facebook page (PAVI Trinidad) with updated information. In 2022, three of our members received National Awards, in various categories, namely Sandra Tamby-Russell Public Service Merit, Lingo in the sphere of Culture and Bhawani Persad, Humming Bird Gold for Service within the blind and disabled community.  

Their contact information is 220-1073 and email pavi1tt@gmail.com. Please continue to support their various activities and feel free to join our membership. 

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