UIC history and UIC today

Map of Italy, Ascoli Piceno is in the  center of Italy (Adriatic Sea side)The U.I.C. was founded by Aurelio Nicolodi (Trento 01.04.1894 - Firenze 27.10.1959), blinded during the war and first national president of the organization. With a surveying diploma, he was employed by the Italian National Rail and was an army officer during World War I, when he lost his sight on the Carso, event which won him a silver medal for military valour.

The main hub of the U.I.C., structured along democratic principles, are the Provincial Branches, spread throughout the country. These in turn have representatives on the regional Councils, the presidents of which are by right members of the national Council, elected by members in an assembly every five years.

The U.I.C. has also created functional entities to help in the achievement of its goals and to compensate for the lack of adequate national public welfare services. First among these is the I.Ri.Fo.R. (Institute for Research, Training and Rehabilitation, itself a Non-profit Social Welfare Organization).


This Institute, now itself legally recognized, was founded on 22 February 1991 by the U.I.C. to undertake, with full scientific and administrative autonomy, the following tasks:

  • carry out studies and research projects in the areas of training, rehabilitation, education, guidance and basic skills and to elaborate on issues related to the integration of people with a visual or other disability in the workplace;
  • carry out studies and research projects for the identification of new professional opportunities, and especially on the use of new technologies aimed at making the workplace accessible to disabled people;
  • organize and manage vocational training, basic skills and refresher courses as well as co-ordinate initiatives aimed at the rehabilitation of disabled people - its services can also be contracted out to public or private organizations;
  • organize and manage training courses for both teachers and special needs tutors for the integration of disabled students from all grades;
  • award bursaries for training, refreshers and basic skills courses, even if held by other organizations or institutes;
  • offer consultancy and services to public and private institutions in relevant sectors;
  • publishes reports on its research projects and teaching material.

Our Ascoli Piceno branch of the UIC, was founded in the aftermath of World War II by resourceful and courageous blind people who first set up artisan weaving co-operatives to produce baskets and straw chair seats and subsequently promoted the coming together of the visually impaired to join the rapidly growing organization.
Local and national government then became and remain to this day the principal point of contact for our organisation, for visual impairment affects all age groups  and a wide range of personal needs which are directly proportional to the importance placed on everyone on sight.   
In recent years, however, the State has changed its approach to welfare and its management so that, while some services are available, it is becoming more and more necessary to rely on private organizations.

The Ascoli Piceno branch of U.I.C. falls into this category and is called upon to carry out compensatory activities which public administration is not able to manage because of a lack of that technical know-how which the U.I.C. instead possesses due to its long-term role in the support of the visually impaired and their families.

The branch has in recent years become a reference point for all those people who, at various levels and in different guises live in close contact with more than just visual disabilities.

The Branch President and Council members have unanimously realized in the course of their work that the social integration process for the visually impaired needs to follow a path of acquisition or re-acquisition of physical ability as well as of the psychological and social interaction skills necessary for daily life.
This has made it necessary to develop different approaches to visual disability, which is more and more often associated with further disabilities. Consequently, every person, close to the organization has to be assessed under the “all-round approach” principle.

The Ascoli Piceno branch therefore carries out the following tasks:

Tactile map

Teaching material


  • it collaborates with all schools in the Province area on the education of the visually impaired
  • it provides specialist teaching material


Braille textTactile material

  • it acts as technical and logistical support for trainers in autonomy
  • maintaining contact with a variety of local agencies
  • makes initial contact with prospective employers


  • Personal aidsaids the personal and professional fulfilment of the visually impaired by supporting their families


  • organizes meetings and courses to teach the use of specialized software
  • organizes vocational and professional development courses in areas including tiflology, autonomy and mobility

OrientationGuide dogComputer work

  • collaborates with the local health services for the rehabilitation of the visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities
  • organizes educational-rehabilitative summer camps for children and teenagers
  • organizes entertainment and sporting activities

Working with childrenWorking with children

  • promotes and publicises spoken word books
  • takes part in European projects


  • organizes events aimed at informing and creating awareness, study seminars, conferences .