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Kerryman

02 October 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 14)

A huge thanks to Kay Butler from Minister Mary Coughlan's office who met with members of our Deaf Action Group (DAG) this week in Tralee. The meeting was organised to give information and feedback on DAG's trip to Canada. Minister Coughlan's department part-funded the trip and this was an opportunity for our members to say thank you for their support. A report is available on PowerPoint in our office - if you would like to view this, why not call into our office.

Hands On, the TV programme of interest to the Deaf Community is back this year on October 19th at 1.10pm. On the 2nd of November it will be on at 12.40pm and on the 16th of November it will be on at 12.10pm. Thereafter, it will be on at its regular time of 10.30am. The change of time is due to the Rugby World Cup.

Hands On is delighted to announce that Susan Whelan has been appointed as full-time researcher for the programme. Many of you already know Susan and they are sure you will agree with them that she is an excellent addition to the team. If you want to contact her about anything to do with the programme you can do so by email: susan@mindthegapfilms.com.

Handworks have asked us to inform you of a new video of Irish Sign Language vocabulary. The objective of the video is to act as a learning tool in extending the range of vocabulary for families and students who are learning sign language. Handworks were awarded the European label 1999, for Innovative language teaching and learning. For more information, email: handword@gofree.indigo.ie or fax 01 2956030.

Our paintball event has had to be cancelled - the organisers had concerns over insurance cover, communication and the risk of accidents. While we totally understand their concerns, we had issue with regards to attitude and for under-estimating the ability of Deaf people. Although we tried to challenge this, we took the decision to cancel the event. We would welcome your ideas for other events.

We have new equipment on display in our Centre which enables hard of hearing people to hear the TV or radio more clearly. If you would like a demonstration, ring us for an appointment. We also have new alarm clocks, which wake a person by a vibrating pad. We also have a range of information on tinnitus and equipment for people who experience tinnitus. As always, we supply a pack of hearing aid batteries for 3, considerably cheaper than it is in shops.

Are you the parent of a child who is under 16 who has a hearing loss or who is deaf? Are you aware that you may be entitled to the Domiciliary Care Allowance? If you want more information, do not hesitate to email us. The Health Board pays the allowance monthly to parents. Once your child reaches 16, they may be entitled to Disability Allowance in their own right.

Notes for your diary:

  1. Workway is organising a seminar in Meadowlands Hotel in Tralee on the 7th of October at 3pm. Workway is a joint initiative to promote employment of people with disabilities. An Interpreter will be provided on the day. If you would like to attend, please contact us as soon as possible.
  2. The Irish Deaf Society and the Irish Deaf Youth Association are organising Casino Night at Alexander Hotel (Beside Merrion Square, Dublin) on the 11th of October. Tickets Costs 30.
  3. The Irish Deaf Society (IDS) in association with Model School for the Deaf Project (MSDP) is hosting an Education Seminar Are We Being Listened To?
    Where: Walton Theatre, Trinity College, Dublin.
    When: Saturday, 4th October 9 to 4pm.
    Admission: 10.00 or a reduced fee of 5 Student/Senior Citizens.
    For further information contact:
    IDS: Tel: 01-8601878 Fax: 01-8601960 Email: ids@indigo.ie
    MSDP: Tel/Fax: 01-4905697 E-mail: msdp@indigo.ie.
  4. The Kerry branch of the Green Party will be hosting an open forum on Thursday, October the 2nd at 8 p.m in the Abbey Gate Hotel Tralee. Trevor Sargent, Green Party leader will be a guest on the night. If you would like to attend, please contact us so that we can book an Interpreter.
  5. Lastly, is there an event that you would like us to inform our readers of? Or is there information that you would like to see in this section. If so, please let us know and we will do our best to source the information for you.

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09 October 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 15)

Kerry Deaf Resource Centre would like to congratulate Kevin Stanley who has been offered the position of Programme Development Manager with the Irish Deaf Society (IDS). Kevin has worked tirelessly with the Deaf Community for many years and will be a great asset to the IDS. We wish him well in his new position.

Are you interested in studying abroad - if so, The Fulbright Deaf Studies awards have been announced for the academic year 2004/2005. You can download application and guidelines from their website: www.fulbright.ie. For your information there is also a video about the Irish Fulbright Scholarship in Deaf Studies hosted and translated in Irish Sign Language by Stephen Bates. It's available on loan from Irish Deaf Society library. This video has no voice over but it has full subtitles.

Are you hard of hearing and a Church goer - do you find it hard to hear the sermons in your local Church. We are pleased to announce that the following Churches in Kerry have installed loop systems to enable hearing aid users with t-switches hear sermons more clearly. They are as follows:

  • St. Brendan's, Tralee
  • Fenit Church, Tralee
  • Churchill Church, Tralee
  • The Friary, Killarney
  • Abbeydorney Church, Killarney.
The following Church is due to install a loop system shortly - Glenbeigh Church. We would like to say well done to all those Churches for considering the needs of hard of hearing parishioners. We would also like to thank Mc Elligott Systems for all they have done to improve access for those who are hard of hearing.

A group of our Deaf members will be travelling to Edinburgh for a Deaf get together in October - if you are interested in attending, please email: kdrc@eircom.net and we will supply you with more information. This event has been organised as a result of the group travelling to Canada earlier this year. We also have a group of our members travelling to London in November, again email: kdrc@eircom.net for more information.

As a result of our article on cancelling our paintball event - the organisers have contacted us to re-schedule the event. As it is too late now - we hope to arrange the event sometime in the New Year. The organisers have offered to allow 6 of our members attend a training day with their staff free of charge. This will enable the staff gain a better understanding of Deaf issues and to make sure Deaf people are fully included in all its activities.

A huge thanks to Geraldine Broderick who designed a presentation for the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters in Brighton last weekend. The presentation was a huge hit and we were thrilled as always that a Deaf person skills were utilised and highlighted. A total of 23 countries were in attendance along with Catherine Nourse from our own Centre.

A huge thanks to Niamh White and Aaron Spencer who had an Information stand for our service at Workway's seminar in Tralee this week. A big thanks to Workway for ensuring our members had full access via an Interpreter. We had a great turn out of Deaf and hard of hearing members, so a big thanks you to them too.

Dates for your diary:
  1. A reminder as usual - this Sunday will be our monthly mass, as always an Interpreter will be provided along with tea and coffee. Our kids club will be held at the same time. After the Mass, we will be holding a meeting on 'Is there poverty in the Deaf Community'. We would really appreciate your attendance at this meeting.
  2. Partnership Tra Li will be launching their 2002 Annual Report at the Abbeygate Hotel on Friday 10th of October at 11.30am to 12.30pm. An Interpreter will be provided. As part of this event, Willie White will give a short presentation on how our service has worked with Partnership Tra Li during the past year.
  3. Irish Deaf Youth Association (IDYA) are organising an Activity Weekend in Baltyboys, Co Wicklow for Young Adults aged 18-35 from the 21st - 23rd November. If you are interested in attending, activities will include canoeing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, climbing, archery, orienteering, clay shooting, boating, horse & pony trekking lessons. Workshops will also be provided. The cost for the weekend will be 50. Deposit of 15 to be paid by 24th October. For further information and forms, contact IDYA by text at 085 7374734 or email: info@irishdeafyouth.com.
  4. Our annual Church collections will be the 3rd Sunday of November. As always, we really need volunteers for this day - can you assist. If so, email: kdrc@eircom.net and we will send you relevant information.
  5. We will also have bag packing in Dunnes Stores on the 13th to 5th of November - your assistance on the day would be greatly appreciated.
  6. Lastly, the Irish Deaf Society (IDS) will hold its National Council meeting on the 25th of October in Greenhills Hotel in Limerick starting at 1pm. If you would like to represent Kerry Deaf Resource Centre, please email: kdrc@eircom.net. A group of Deaf from Kerry will be attending a range of events in Limerick on that weekend.

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16 October 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 16)

As you may know, last Sunday we had a research meeting to explore the issue of Poverty in the Deaf community. As a result of this, it has been agreed that a number of Deaf people in Kerry should be interviewed for this project. The questionnaire will look at different issues that affect Deaf people from accessing information, education & employment opportunities and a range of other important issues. If you are interested in participating in this questionnaire, please email us: kdrc@eircom.net as soon as possible. We would like to thank the two members of the research team who travelled from Dublin to meet our members.

A reminder to our members who are travelling to Limerick on the 25th of October for activities organised by the Mid West Deaf Association. If you haven't booked accommodation or your tickets, it would be advisable to book these as soon as possible, accommodation is becoming hard to find at this stage.

Our service would like to thank Mr. Simon Coveney TD for all his campaigning work on a Bill for subtitling in Ireland. Under the terms of the Bill, by 2004, 60% of television programmes and all news bulletins will have to be captioned/subtitled. Each year thereafter the captioning requirement will increase by 10% until a target of 90% of all programmes are captioned by 2007. Mr. Coveney has shown a strong commitment to a legislative route to delivering an important service, like captioning, to Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Mr. Coveney believes issuing guidelines and recommendations without the back up of clear-cut legislation will simply fail to deliver the type of service that other countries' broadcasters provide to their deaf and hard of hearing populations. Our country is far behind countries such as the UK and Canada. We need more TD's to support this campaign that was started by advocates/supporters within the Deaf Community.

We are in the process of booking our Christmas party - just to let you know it will be held on the 2nd Sunday of December in Meadowlands Hotel in Tralee. It will start as always at 2pm. We hope to have a mass on the same day in the hotel, along with a range of other activities. As costs for these events get more expensive every year, we will have to increase the price of tickets. Adults will pay 15 and children will pay 7.50. Our service will pay the remainder of the costs. If you are interested in attending, please send or email us: kdrc@eircom.net your name as soon as possible. Closing date for names will be the 1st of December 2003.

Our service has been asked to give feedback on Family Support services in Kerry for families with Deaf or hard of hearing members. We feel that the lack of support at diagnosis and the lack of information on rights and entitlements needs to be seriously addressed. We also feel that the lack of information on communication options and education support needs to be challenged. If you would like to be a part of this feedback, please let us know or email us: kdrc@eircom.net. We really need the input of Deaf adults and the input of deaf children and their families. A lot needs to be done to ensure deaf children and Deaf adults have more access to information, support, education, employment, equality and independence in our society.

On a sad note, we would like to convey our sympathies to Enda Curtayne and his family on the death of his sister. We would also like to convey our sympathies to the Ward Family and their relatives in Tralee. Mr. Ward's brother died recently in a boating accident. Our thoughts are with both families at this time.

Lastly a reminder, our annual Church collections will be the 3rd Sunday of November. We will also have bag packing in Dunnes Stores on the 13th to 15th of November, your assistance on the day would be greatly appreciated. This bag packing event may replace the street collections, as it is usually very cold and rainy in November. We really need volunteers for both of these events. If you want to volunteer, email us: kdrc@eircom.net and we will send you relevant information.

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23 October 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 17)

Hello, this week we have been asked to focus in on employment issues for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Many people have said they are unsure what supports are available to them if they are seeking employment. Research has shown in the past the Deaf people tend to be under-employed as opposed to unemployed. However, with the recent Celtic Tiger, Deaf people don't seem to have been given the same opportunities that hearing people!!

This week will give you information on where to go to get support with employment issues.

  • FS is now responsible for employment for people with disabilities. If you are Deaf or hard of hearing, contact FS if you are looking for a job. You can also contact FS if you want vocational training or want to be part of an employment programme. For more information, check their website: www.fas.ie.
  • If you get an interview, do you know that FS have a Job Interview Interpreter Grant: If you are looking for a job and require an interpreter, you can apply for funding to have an interpreter at the interview with you. Ask for this in advance, so time is given to book an interpreter. There are not enough interpreters in Ireland so give plenty of notice.
  • If you get a job and need equipment at work, FS have a Workplace Equipment/Adaptation Grant (W.E.A.G.): This grant will pay for equipment that you require for work up to the value of 6350. The additional costs must relate to the disability. Can also support any additional costs of self-employment if you are a person with a disability.
  • Employment Support Scheme (E.S.S.): This is offered to employers to encourage them to employ people with disabilities. If you are on Employment Support Scheme, you are entitled to the same as other employees such as PRSI contributions, annual leave, tax deductions, minimum wage requirements. If you are on the Employment Support Scheme, you can keep your other benefits for one year that you were receiving before you started the scheme such as medical card, travel pass.
  • Kerry Deaf Resource Centre is now involved with a Supported Employment Consortia, which will begin at the end of this year in Kerry. This consortium will employ a number of Job coaches who will have responsibility to assist individuals with job seeking. We are hopeful that one of the Job Coaches will be proficient in sign language and have a high level of Deaf awareness.
  • Lastly, if you want to Retain Employment: FS have a range of employment related supports to assist people with disabilities to find or keep their job.
  • In addition to FS, many people are not aware of - Local Employment Service (LES). This agency can assist people with training, developing CV's and assist you with applying for jobs and a range of other services. Check with your local FS office to see if there is a LES in your area.
  • In addition to LES - there is a new service called Workway. This is a joint initiative to promote employment of people with disabilities. This operates in Kerry, Cork, Galway, Donegal and the Midlands. The project will identify barriers to employment and actively promote employment opportunities with local employers. For more information, check their website: www.workway.ie.
  • If you feel that you have been discriminated in any way in relation to employment. Remember the Equality Authority is in place now along with a range of legislation to protect your rights. For more information, check their website: www.equality.ie.
If you require further information on the above, do not hesitate to email us: kdrc@eircom.net.

On a sad note, our service would like to convey our sympathies to the family and friends of Fr. Bill Clarke who passed away recently. Fr. Clarke was a strong supporter of the Deaf Community and was very involved in getting Interpreting training established in UCC a few years ago.

Lastly, we would like to wish all our members a happy Bank Holiday especially to all those attending the Karting, Bowling & Dinner and Dance in Limerick this weekend.

We would also like to wish the Irish Deaf Society well in their National Council meeting next weekend. If you would like to represent us at this event, please email us: kdrc@eircom.net.

Next week, we will look at Educational Supports for Deaf and hard of hearing. If there is any information, you would like to see, please email us: kdrc@eircom.net.

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28 October 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 18)

As we mentioned last week, this weeks section will look at Educational Support for Deaf and hard of hearing student. Below is a list of supports that may suit you. Best thing to do is to talk with someone in your school or college to see what they can provide. If your school or college has a Disability Officer or Access Officer, contact them well in advance to discuss your needs before you start college or university.

In Kerry, there is a one Visiting teacher of the deaf. There is no full-time pre-school support specifically for deaf or hard of hearing children apart from services that are provided on an ad-hoc basis. In Dublin, there is the Model School for Deaf project (MSDP), which is a pre-school service for deaf children.

If you require information, our service can provide information for parents and to deaf children. We can give you information on communication and educational options. We have an outreach service where we can visit families in their homes. Alternatively, you can make an appointment to visit our Centre. We can also put you in touch with other parents with deaf children.

One of the most important things to look at the issue of language development. It is crucial thataccessible language is introduced to a deaf child as early as possible. If language is introduced at an early stage, it will better equip children for attending school.

In Kerry, there is a Deaf Unit for children in Presentation School, Tralee. Alternatively, deaf children go to deaf schools in both Dublin and Limerick. The numbers of deaf children being mainstreamed in local schools is growing. However, it is crucial that a child has role models, language input, and all the relevant supports in place before a child is mainstreamed in a local school.

Before starting school/college/university: Check out what supports are available well in advance. What communication support is available? Is there literacy support? What will the school do to ensure that all the needs of the child will be met? Are Interpreters provided? Are classroom or language assistants provided?

After your meeting with a school and if they can provide the above to you. The following may be of benefit to you also;

  • Copies of Lecture Notes and/or Overheads: Can you get class notes and overheads. Students need to ask for these before a class is delivered so you can follow it more easily.
  • CD ROM: Can get access to printed material through electronic format, for example, CD Rom.
  • Examinations: You can get extra time to complete your exam papers. You can 'sign' your exam paper onto a video recorder. These must be agreed in advance.
  • Notetaker: A person can be employed to take notes during class. Or a teacher or classmate can make carbon copy of his or her own notes. Need to ask for this before classes begin.
  • Photocopying Facilities: Photocopying can be provided free of charge or at a specially reduced rate for Deaf or hard of hearing students.
  • Priority Registration: You may be allowed to register earlier than other students. This will give the school/ college time to put the necessary supports in place for you.
  • Radio-Aid or Loop System: There is a wide range of assistive devices available. If you are now aware of the best one for you, contact us.
  • Sign Language Interpreter: There is a huge shortage of accredited interpreters in Ireland. Book as early as you can via the school or college. Can also be provided for tutorials and lectures. Interpreters need to know exact timetable in advance.
  • Signed-Video Recording of Lecture: You can video record your sign language interpreter during the class or lecture so you don't have to take notes. Need to discuss and agree with interpreter beforehand.
  • Speedtext Operator: An operator types up everything that is said in class and a copy of this is provided to the student. The student has his or her own laptop which is connected to the operators laptop and can see what is being typed in real-time.
  • Study Skills Courses: If you feel you need extra help with how to study, writing and research skills, spelling and time management, some schools or colleges may provide study skills courses to help you.
  • Time Extension on Out-of-class Assignments: You can ask for time extensions for essays, fieldwork, projects, etc. Make sure you don't have too many assignments all piling up.
  • Transcription of Audio-Recorded Lecture: Student needs to get permission to record lectures. Arrangements can be made to transcribe the audiotape to writing.
  • Word-processing facilities: You might be able to get priority in queuing to use a word processor. You might be able to get one-to-one tuition on how to use a word processor.
  • Other: If you have specific requirements not listed above, discuss this with the school or college before you begin. If you would like to discuss your needs before starting, contact our service.
Education is a vital tool for all. The needs of Deaf of hard of hearing students are very important. Education should be accessible and meet the specific needs of the student and not the service provider. Contact us if you require more information.

On a different note, here is a date for your diary:- the annual Mass for St Joseph Past pupils is on the Sunday 16th November in St Josephs School, Cabra in Dublin at 12 noon. This will be followed by an exhibition.

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The Kerryman is a local newspaper that has allowed us put in a weekly section for our news bulletin and articles.

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