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Kerryman local news  

06 November 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 19)

This week, we've been asked to give information on supports for families with a Deaf member. This information will be useful for parents of a deaf child or for those who may suspect that their child may be deaf?

First of all, if you are looking for any type of support, contact our service. We will do our best to provide support services to you, your child & your family.

  • If you think your child needs a hearing test? We can put you in touch with a number of agencies that carry out hearing tests. If you are not sure, come along to our Centre & chat to us about any concerns you may have - we can put you in touch with relevant services.
  • If your child is deaf - what do you do next? We will do our best to support you, your child & your family. When you are ready & or want to - we can put you in touch with other parents who have gone through a similar experience. We can also introduce your child to other deaf children. We can introduce you to Deaf adults
  • How will I communicate with my child? We will give you information & support on communicating with a deaf child. We will put you in touch with other professionals who can give you information on language - whether it is sign language or speech.
  • Is there any grant that will help with any additional costs that I may have with a deaf child? Yes, there is a grant called the Domicillary Care Allowance, it is paid to parents of a child with a disability. We have the forms in our office & will assist you in applying for this grant. This is paid monthly and can amount to approx €180.
  • What about schools for deaf children? We have information on schools in Kerry & nationally. We can also give you information on the visiting teacher service for deaf children.
  • What activities are available for parents of deaf children? We have a monthly get-together for deaf children & their hearing siblings - we bring them bowling & to adventure play centres. This gives parents a chance to meet with Deaf & hearing parents of deaf children.
  • We also have a Day trip in the summer & a Christmas party - this gives parents & children a chance to meet other people for fun & laughter. It is also an opportunity to learn about things that are relevant to parents & to deaf children.
  • Regarding equipment, we have a range of equipment on display in our office. We can assist with grant applications to purchase the equipment and if VAT is charged, we will apply for a refund for you. We also sell hearing aid batteries for a pack of six for €3. If you require specific information, guidance or support, we will do our best to meet your needs.
Notes for your diary:
  1. Volunteers required for Church Gate Collections in Kerry except Tralee and Killarney - the 3rd Sunday in November.
  2. There will be a mass for Fr. Clarke whose first month anniversary on Sunday, 15th November at 7pm in St Vincent's Church, Well, Cork. If you'd like to attend either of the above, please email us:
  3. Mid West Deaf Association will have a social evening in Temple Gate hotel, Ennis on 22nd November from 8.30pm onward.
  4. The New Zealand government has signalled its intention to recognise New Zealand Sign Language as the third official language of New Zealand. This week Cabinet agreed to the introduction of a NZ Sign Language Bill to Parliament. It is time for the Irish Government to look at officially recognising Irish Language.

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13 November 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 20)

This week, we will look Equality and what kinds of support are out there for Deaf people. There have been major changes in disability policy in Ireland in the last few years. These began with the publication of the Report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities, entitled A Strategy for Equality, in 1996. This report in turn was the result of a major consultative process involving people with disabilities.

The following two agencies promote equality measures:

  1. The Equality Authority: Our service has used this valuable service on many occasions and have had excellent results - ranging from proving discrimination in the workplace, ensuring a Legal service provide an Interpreter, and proving discrimination by an Educational provider. It is an independent body established on 18th October 1999. The Employment Equality Act (1998) and the Equal Status Act (2000) outlaw discrimination in employment, vocational training, advertising, collective agreements, the provision of goods and services and other opportunities to which the public generally have access on nine distinct grounds.

    Discrimination is described in the Act as the treatment of a person in a less favourable way than another person is, has been or would be treated on any of the following grounds. These are: Gender, Marital status, Family status, Age, Disability, Race, Sexual orientation, Religious belief and Membership of the Traveller Community.

  2. The second agency is the National Disability Authority (NDA), an independent statutory agency established under the aegis of the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform by the National Disability Authority Act 1999.

    NDA strives to ensure that the rights and entitlements of people with disabilities are protected. It has the following functions:
    • Act as a national body to assist in the coordination and development of disability policy
    • Undertake research and develop statistical information for the planning, delivery and monitoring of programmes and services for people with disabilities
    • Advise the Minister on standards for programmes and services and prepare codes of practice
    • Monitor the implementation of standards and codes of practice
    • Take the lead in both encouraging and recognising the promotion of equality of people with disabilities.
    Authority members are drawn from all backgrounds and include people with disabilities, parents and carers of people with disabilities and people working in the disability field.

    Both of the above agencies can be a powerful tool for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their families. If you require further information, do not hesitate to contact or email us:
Notes for your diary:
  1. Church Collections on this Sunday - thanks to all who have volunteered to date. However, we are still short of collectors. Money raised from these events pay for expenses incurred in running a full time service. Our service is seriously under funded by Government.
  2. One of our members, Richard Tolan has just returned home from a great trip to Prague and Poland. He has written a short account of his trip. If you would like to read his report, please contact or email us: and we will give you a copy of it. Many thanks to Richard for taking the time to write about his trip.
  3. A group of our members have just returned from Edinburgh, sounds like they all had a great time. They are going to Northern Ireland shortly and to London in December. If you would like information, contact or email us:
  4. Lastly, happy birthday to Richard, one of our young members. We had a great day on Sunday in the bowling centre. If you are Deaf and under 16 and want to celebrate your birthday, join our kids club, we could arrange something for you too during our monthly kids club.

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20 November 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 21)

Hello and welcome again to our weekly section. Thank you all for the feedback you gave us on the information we advertised in our past few editions.

This week, we are going to focus on a number of events that are coming up over the next few weeks. In our next two or three editions, we will return to focusing on more specific topics.

The first date for your diary is:

  1. Children First Guidelines - "Keeping Safe Training". This workshop will be held in our office in Tralee on Saturday 22nd November and Sunday 23rd November 2003. This is a joint training weekend organised by our service and the Irish Sign Language Interpreters Association (IASLI). Our service has been working with Fiona Mullins from the Southern Health Board over the past year and she will facilitate the training. If you would like to attend, please contact or email us: immediately.
  2. After the training, the next big event for us will be our Annual Christmas party. By now, a lot of you will have received a poster advertising this week. The party will be held in Meadowlands Hotel in Tralee from 2-6pm on the 14th of December. The cost for adults will be €15 and €7.50 for children. A four-course meal will be provided. A face-painter and Santa will be there on the day. At some stage during the party, we will also have our monthly mass. If you want to attend, please let us know or or email: as soon as possible as we had 135 people at last years' party.
  3. During the party, we will be having a new event:
    The Kerry "Deaf Person of the Year" & the "Hearing Supporter of the Year" Awards. We thought it time, we thanked people who supported our service and members throughout the year. This will be like the Deaf Oscar, but don't worry it will be very informal. This year we will present three awards to Deaf people and three awards to hearing supporters. If you want to nominate someone for an award, please let us know or email:
We would like to thank all those who assisted with our recent bag-packing event in Tralee. We would also like to thank all those who assisted with the Church collections. November is such a cold and wet month and we really appreciate all the work people do for us to ensure we generate funds to pay for overheads incurred through-out the year.

We would also like to thank Kerry's Eye for printing a story on one of our clients who lives in very poor housing conditions. We have received a lot of support from this story. We hope the Council will now look into this situation immediately.

Lastly, we'd like to welcome Aaron Spencer and Rose Egan to our permanent staff. Aaron and Rose worked for us on a part time employment programme, which was due to finish this month. Thankfully, we have secured funding to keep them on as permanent staff. We have also been fortunate to be accepted on the Partnership Trali CE scheme, and we will be having two new Deaf staff start work with us on the 24th of November.

Remember, if there is any service you require, do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to meet your requests.
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27 November 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 22)

We would like to congratulate Noelle Reidy who started with the KDRC under the CE Scheme this week. Noelle will be with us for one year. Noelle is Deaf and a fluent Irish sign language user.

We would also like to congratulate Aaron Spencer and Rose Egan who have now become permanent employees as a result of additional funding from the Southern Health Board. Our thanks to SHB for allowing this to happen. Aaron and Rose have been with us for the past three years under the CE Scheme. We are delighted not to be losing their expertise.

Don't forget to let us know or email us: if you will be attending our Christmas Party on 14th December 2003. To date we have various people from around the country attending and a group will be coming from Sri Lanka!

Rotary International have offered to fundraise on behalf of the Kerry Deaf Resource Centre this Saturday. If you are able to lend them a hand, let us know. The more hands the better!

The Duty to Care training, which took place at the KDRC in conjunction with the Southern Health Board last weekend, was a huge success. If there are other small Deaf groups would be keen to undertake the same training, do let us know or email: As of January 2004, if you receive funding from the Health Board, but do not have a Child Protection Policy in place, funding can be withheld from you.

CAD are organising an Elderly Christmas Social on Thursday 11th December at 11.00am in Cork. They will have Mass with Fr Casey followed by refreshments and entertainment. If you would like to join them, there will be a charge of €3 to cover refreshments. Let us know or email: before 30th November if you would like to join Cork.

On a sad note, our sympathies go to Mary Fell on the recent death of her mother. On a happy note, we wish a very happy birthday to one of our most senior members Patrick Moriarty.

The Polish Association of the Deaf is running a project called "Europe, We Join You". This takes place in January 2004. They are looking for two people from each country to participate in a 6-day-long cooking project, (5 day cooking workshop) and the banquet (all night!). All expenses will be paid. The IDS are looking for Deaf chefs willing to represent Ireland. If anyone is interested, please send your information with background in catering and chef, including reference of your experience and training. Closing date: 8th December 2003. Contact KDRC as soon as possible if you are interested or email: We can also assist developing your background information.

Following a long campaign by the Irish Deaf Society on behalf of its members, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI), has established the Consultative Forum on Access Code. We are demanding 100% subtitling access in all TV stations for Deaf people. The importance of high level of ISL output on Irish TV stations and the quality of subtitling services has also been emphasised. Economical factors should not be used as excuses. Resources through this Forum must be found, particularly funding to be made available to facilitate the full broadcasting access as matter of basic human rights and equality. If you are keen in this area, let us know or email: your interest, so we can work more closely and in partnership with the Irish Deaf Society.

Have you ever tried to lip-read Spiderman? Or an animated fish? It's not easy. Not everyone has perfect hearing and many people need subtitles to enjoy a film. Subtitles are usually produced before a film is released in the cinema. The same basic subtitle 'text files' is later used for the DVD, video and TV release. But cinema films rarely screen with subtitles. Cinemas need to catch up with other film media, and become more accessible. They need to cater for the needs of EVERYONE in their communities, not just those with perfect hearing. You can help. A phone call, a letter, or a visit is all it takes. Please contact your local cinema manager and request that subtitle equipment be installed. It costs around €8,000. Less than an evening's box office takings. We are interested in putting a group together to make representation to our local cinema. Let us know or email: if you want to be a part of this.

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