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28 February 2008 (VOL 6 WEEK 9)

Hands On Tv Programme
Hands On- the TV programme for the Deaf community on RTE had a very interesting programme on Sunday the 24th of February. This is the first in a two-part report on the biggest crisis facing the Irish Deaf Community today. The programme looked at how Deaf people are being denied access to the most basic public services, the most worrying of these being the health services - including hospitals. The main reason for this is a lack of awareness among the health services and the Deaf community about their right to access services through Irish Sign Language Interpreters. A right that is enshrined in the Disability Act and Equal Status Act.

Hands On met Deaf people who talked about the difficulties they face every time they visit the hospital, and even more dangerously when they find themselves in emergency situations. Children of Deaf people have been left with no option but to interpret for their parents at a time of much stress to themselves and in areas they are not qualified in. The programme also explored the issue of "out of office" interpreting availability.

As the Health Service Executive launch the Intercultural Health Strategy, which aims to improve access to the health services and interpreter provision for immigrants whose first language is not English, Hands On ask why the Deaf community are not included in the scope of this strategy.

KDRC has been campaigning for many years for improved access- while we are seeing some developments and improve access; there are huge gaps in service provision particularly in health related settings. Watch out for the next edition of Hands On- for more information, go to www.rte.ie/tv/handson

Cork Deaf Association - Life Coaching Workshops
  • Thursday 20th March (2pm ­ 3.30pm) Stress Management/ Relax & feel less stressed.
  • Thursday 27th March (2pm ­ 3.30pm) Confidence & Motivation, Believe in yourself and feel positive & Time Management, Manage your time more effectively. Achieve your goals.
Take a fresh look at yourself and unlock your true potential. Workshops to be held at Cork Deaf Association, 5 McCurtain Street, Cork. To book your place contact Tel: 021 4505944, Fax: 021 4506190, Email: carl@corkdeaf.ie, Mobile: 086 3805108. Everyone welcome. Interpretation is available De ­ Stress, Get motivated, channel your energy.

Centre For Deaf Studies Book & CD
CDS has produced 2 new books and CD's by Patrick A. Matthews. The first set is "Signing Picture Sequence Stories in ISL (Intermediate and Advanced). The 2nd set is "Around the House, Placement and 2D Teaching in Irish Sign Language (ISL). If you are interested in viewing these, please contact our service. Alternatively, contact CDS at www.tcd.ie/slscs/cds or Tel: 01-830-1252, Fax: 01-830-1211, Email: cdsinfo@tcd.ie

American Deaf Visitor To Ireland- Anyone Free To Meet
A large American hearing family are making a trip to Ireland in April- in their group is one Deaf family member. While, they have activities planned, they are very keen to ensure she enjoys the trip as much as possible. They were wondering if any Deaf individuals or organisations would be willing to meet with them during their trip. Their schedule is as follows: 16th April 2 nights in Galway, 18th April 1 night in Ennis, 19th April 1 night in Killarney, 20th April 1 night Waterford, 21st April 1 night Dublin, 22nd April 1 night Belfast & 23rd April 1 night Dublin. If you would like to meet with them, send us your details and we will forward them to the group.

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21 February 2008 (VOL 6 WEEK 8)

President Mc Aleese visit to Killarney
Representatives from our service had an opportunity to see President Mc Aleese on her recent visit to St. Oliver's School in Killarney. We would like to thank the Principal Rory Darcy and Josephine Doncel for the invitation to the event. The Ballycasheen school is home to pupils from 27 ethnic backgrounds and the diversity on show on the day was noted by the President. Their commitment to equality and inclusion was also extended to the Deaf community as they provided sign language interpreting access for Deaf parents in attendance.

FAI Coach Education - Kickstart 1
The Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Deaf Sports Assoc are delivering a coaching course for Deaf and/or hard of hearing participants. The course will have the services of an ISL interpreter. The aim of the course is to increase the number of Deaf and/or hard of hearing coaches on the FAI Coaching Ladder to develop and promote soccer within the Deaf community.

The course is designed to assist coaches to introduce children to funsoccer games and Fundamental movement skills in a well-structured, stimulating and safe environment. Course participants can be Parents, Teachers, Coaches, Players, Ex-Players etc. with or without coaching certificates or experience. Participants must be 16 years or over and should have clothing suitable for taking part in soccer activities, shorts, socks, tracksuit, raingear etc.
  • Date: 2nd March 2008, Sunday
  • Time: 10.00 ­ 17.00, Registration 10.00 sharp.
  • Venue: Pope John Paul II Park, Sports Centre, Rathaoth Rd off the Navan Rd, Cabra, Dublin 7.
  • Cost: €45 Includes Development Manual and Folder.
    24 Places available.
  • To book a place contact FAI CDO
    Paul O Reilly on 087-1273243 or paul.oreilly@fai.ie.
CODA Weekend In Duke's Barn
A number of CODA members travelled to a CODA weekend in Duke's Barn in the UK recently. We would like to thank George Taylor and Angie Poole for organising this wonderful weekend. It was a great opportunity for children of Deaf parents to meet with other CODA's from Ireland, the UK and Holland. Our thanks also to Mary Stringer and Lisa Dunne for bringing a group from Dublin. We hope to arrange a similar event in Kerry during the year, if you are interested in getting involved, please let us know.

CODA at IFTA Awards
We would like to send our best wishes to Siobhan Shanahan from Clondalkin who was nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA's) recently. Siobhan's parents are Tom Shanahan from Kerry and Jean from Dublin. The IFTA's are the Irish equivalent of the Oscars and are a very prestigious award to be nominated in. Siobhan starred as a single 17-year mother in the RTE mini-drama "Prosperity". The series was shown on RTE last autumn and was made up of four one-hour episodes. The young actress was "over the moon" when her agent told her about the nomination. We would like to congratulate Siobhan on her successful nomination.

CODA Documentary, My Very Normal Life
My Very Normal Life is a new television documentary series produced by Animo Television. Children of Deaf Adults occupy a unique position between two cultures. My Very Normal Life will take us on a journey of discovery. We will learn to understand deafness through their eyes. These are the families that bridge the divide between hearing and deaf worlds, thus facing a unique challenge. But despite the obstacles thrown in their way, the families refuse to give in and simply live their lives.

During the episode we will gain insight into their worlds: work, family, school, sporting etc. In addition to the material filmed by the production team, Video Diaries created and filmed by the participants themselves will be interspersed throughout the programme. This will be their very personal input into their documentary. The series will challenge perceptions and pre-conceptions and reveal a normal, yet very unique life. It will transmit on RTÉ ONE from June 2008.

KDRC had a meeting with ANIMO Television this week and suggested setting up a focus group of CODA's/ Deaf parents- if you are interested, please let us know. The programme will be shown later in the year and will be subtitled.

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14 February 2008 (VOL 6 WEEK 7)

KDRC - 9 Years Old
On the 1st of February, our service celebrated its ninth birthday. We would like to thank all our staff and supporters for all their hard work and assistance over the years.

We have achieved so much since opening our service in 1999 with just one staff member. To day, we have eleven people working with our service from full time to part time staff. We have a full time Drop-in service in Tralee along with Outreach services throughout Kerry. We also have a designated Outreach service catering to the needs of elderly people with a hearing loss in the Sliabh Luachra areas. The support from a number of Deaf and non-deaf agencies has enabled us to go from strength to strength.

There have been many developments locally, which have benefited our members. There is increased awareness of Deaf issues and access in many areas has improved as a result. Deaf Awareness training and sign language classes are being provided throughout Kerry and this is having a positive impact on Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Our highly acclaimed Education Equality Initiative provided Deaf related qualifications to 18 Deaf adults from Kerry, Cork and Limerick. This innovative project was a highly empowering process for the students. Graduates of the EEI project are now teaching sign language classes and providing Deaf Awareness training in a number of locations. We have also been fortunate to secure funding to enable us to attend international events such as the World Federation of the Deaf in Montreal and Madrid. We have developed contacts with many Deaf individuals and organisations throughout the world. We have worked hard to transfer the learning from these conferences into practical measures locally. Our Deaf Action Group has worked hard over the years to ensure that local Deaf have the opportunity to attend these events and learn from international best practices.

There has also been opportunities to participate in Youth Exchanges to the UK & Finland, visits to Aras an Uachtarain, CODA Ireland/UK weekends, the Deaf Cruise in the Caribbean, and local events such as our Christmas parties.

While there have been fun times, there has also been alot of hard work and sometimes even tears. We have said a sad farewell to some of our greatest supporters- without their help; we would not be where we are today. We have to cherish their memories and remember to work hard to achieve the dreams they hoped to achieve. We have accomplished many of their dreams and wishes, but we have a long way to go.

In 1999, our core funding from a Government agency was 30,000 pounds. While we have seen increases over the years, our core funding nine years later is only 97,000 euro. Without the support of agencies such as FAS and their Community Employment schemes, we would be placed in a very difficult position. We are also very grateful to agencies such as the National Chaplaincy for Deaf People who fund an Outreach position for Kerry and Cork.

In addition, we are grateful to all the services that employ freelance Sign Language Interpreters. This enables interpreters to be based in Kerry and enabled Deaf people to access a wide range of services.

Without adequate funding and permanent staffing, we will not be able to provide the services that Deaf, hard of hearing individuals and their families require. We are still seeing services that do not provide access for Deaf and hard of hearing people. There are many people in long-term care, in hospitals, visiting their GP's, attending parent/teacher meetings and a range of other services that are not provided with any form of access.

This is totally discriminatory and against the principles of the Equal Status Acts of 2000 & 2004, and the Disability Act of 2005. We have to work hard to ensure our clients are afforded equal rights and opportunities. The establishment of the Equality Authority has benefited the Disability community enormously and has been great source of support in discrimination issues.

In addition, The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006, and opened for signature on 30 March 2007. 81 Member States and the European Community signed the Convention, the highest number of signatures of any human rights convention on its opening day. 44 Member States signed the Optional Protocol, and 1 Member State ratified the Convention.

If we harness the support of our staff, our supporters, and utilise Equality legislation, we will make great inroads in achieving equal rights for our members and clients.

We would like to thank each and every one of you who has supported our service over our 9 years. We cannot name every one of you but you know who you are!! We are grateful for your support and we look forward to working with you all in the coming years - we couldn't do it without you.

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7 February 2008 (VOL 6 WEEK 6)

Deaf Community Centre
The Deaf Community Centre (DCC), Limerick, is organising a number of events over the coming months. We have listed some below:
  • JB Conmara will be giving a lecture on 8th February at 7pm entitled "Perspectives on Deaf People".
  • A new group is being set up for Deaf people with learning disabilities. The first meeting was last Wednesday, 30th January.
  • The DCC is running a pool tournament for over 13's on Saturday 9th February. There will be a prize for the winner and it promises to be a lot of fun! If you would like to be involved, please text your name to the DCC to be put on the list. Spectators are welcome.
For more information about any of the events, please contact the DCC at Tel & Fax: 061 469854; Mobile (text only): 086 7348641; and email: info@dcclimerick.eu.

Limerick Parenting Course
Sue McClone, the supervisor of the Limerick Parent Support group is starting a 6 week course in the DCC. It is aimed at parents/grandparents or childminders and is open to both men and women. It will cover topics such as toddlers/teens/info/discipline etc. Sue would like to meet the group on Monday March 3rd to explain what is involved in the course and to find out if there are any topics that participants would like to bring up. The course dates are as follows: Tuesday, 29th April, 6th May, 20th May, 27th May, 3rd June and 10th June. There will be a Sign Language interpreter for the course. The cost is €35 but places are limited, so please text/email or call into the DCC to book your place.

European Deafblind Union
Founded in 2003, the European Deafblind Union (EDBU) is an umbrella association for deafblind people's organisations in Europe. It is a non-governmental and non-profit-making organisation. The basic aim and function of the EDBU is to work for equality and full participation in society by deafblind people in all European countries. It acts as a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of deafblindness which also works to increase solidarity among deafblind people’s organisations. The 6th EBU Deafblind Conference and 2nd EDBU General Assembly 2008 will be held in Zagreb, Croatia from 25 to 30 April 2008. The theme of the conference is "Deafblindness: Equality and Diversity". The cost of registration until the 29th February is €150. For more information about the conference and a registration form, please see www.edbu.org.

Six Nations Subtitled
Good news from the IDS: RTÉ will subtitle, live, all the matches in the Six Nations rugby, as well as all pre-match discussions and analysis by RTÉ presenters. Subtitling of all GAA matches started in May 2007. The IDS is working with RTÉ and Setanta Sports on subtitling soccer matches, particularly the European Championship this summer and the next World cup qualifiers, featuring Irish matches, and is also in contact with TV3 about this issue. If anyone has any queries, they can contact the IDS or RTÉ directly. All feedback is welcome. The IDS can be contacted at email: kstanley@irishdeafsociety.ie, fax: 01 8601960, tel: 01 8601878 or mobile: 086 3807033.

Association For Sign Language Interpreters UK
ASLI, the UK Association for Sign Language Interpreters, is holding their national conference in London on 5th & 6th April 2008. The conference also celebrates the 21st anniversary of the organisation and has a fitting theme: "Looking back; Going forward". The conference programme will include presentations on many different topics including the development and future of Deaf interpreters. The keynote speaker will be Sharon Neumann Solow. Several workshops will be run over the two days. For more information and registration see www.asli.org.uk.

Cinema at St Johns Listowel
St. John's Theatre & Arts Centre, Listowel, will be showing some foreign language films during the month of February. These films will be subtitled. The first in the series will be "Ghost of Cite Soleil", on Tuesday, 5th February. This is a documentary about Haiti during the time of President Aristide. A full programme is available on their website: www.stjohnstheatrelistowel.com. Or for more information contact St. John's at stjohnstheatre@eircom.net, tel: 068 22566 and fax: 068 23485.

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