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Kerryman

28 March 2011 (VOL 9 WEEK 13)

Equality and rights alliance (ERA)
ERA has produced a Roadmap book "A Strengthened Equality and Human Rights Infrastructure in Ireland". On the inside cover of the book, it lists the organisation who endorsed it. We were delighted to see that our service is listed there. Niall Crowley, former CEO of the Equality Authority, authored the roadmap. It also lists key recommendations for equality in Ireland in the areas of Laws, Institutions, Policy Instruments and Policy Strategies.

This is an important document and a valuable resource for those of us who are committed to equal rights in Ireland. For more information on the ERA campaign, go to www.eracampaign.org or email: rachel@eracampaign.org.

Books and gifts club
We have just started a Book and Gift Club in our Tralee office. Bullseye Book Club will bring a range of books and gifts for sale to our office every couple of weeks. These will be on display in our office for approx one week. This week we have a range of products:
  • Search and Find puzzle book €6.
  • 4 Book Nursery Rhyme Set €8.
  • Light Up Bathtime Ducks €6.
  • Windscreen Wonder cleaning pad €7.
  • 4 Way Plug €4.
  • Cozy laptop workstation €12.
  • Handcrafted Cards €15.
  • Set of Cake Tins €10.
  • Quick & Easy Cakes & Cookies book €6.
  • Cupcake Kit Book with silicone moulds €8.
  • Ballerina Jewelry Box €7.
  • Silicone Baking Sheet €5.
  • Cupcakes from Primrose Bakery book €7.
  • Question & Answer Book €8.
Irish Deaf Society national council meetings
We are looking for a person to represent our service at the IDS National Council meetings. The next meeting will be held on the 21st of May at 11am in the Dublin Deaf Club. These meetings are an opportunity to learn of issues that are relevant to the Irish Deaf community. In the past meeting have looked at issues such as the new Deaf village in Dublin, Fundraising, Sign Language Recognition, Political Lobbying, and the Ryan Report on Institutional Abuse. This is a big year too for the IDS as they celebrate their 30th anniversary. A Gala Ball will also be held on the 18th of June along with other exciting events.

If you would like to represent our service at these meetings, contact us for further details.

Census 2011 reminder
The 2011 Census will be held on the 10th of April. In the Census form on page 15 it will say "Do you speak a language other than English or Irish at home? What is the language?" Underneath, write down in full IRISH SIGN LANGUAGE.

This will enable the Government to see how many sign language users there are in Ireland? Make sure to fill this section in whether to live alone or in shared accommodation.

For more information on this, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=j00jzgYPX2Q and see John Bosco Conama giving clear instructions on how this section can be filled in by sign language users in Ireland.

Eanna Curtayne (former supporter of the year)
Our thoughts and prayers are with Aileen and Enda Curtayne and their extended family, friends and neighbours. Their lovely son Eanna passed away this week.

Eanna and his twin brother Darren won Supporter of the Year Awards for all their volunteer work with us. They gave great support to their father when he organised Golf Classics for our service. They also helped out at our annual Christmas parties. They attended so many of our events and we always appreciated everything they did for us.

Eanna's sister Aisling is Deaf. His mother Aileen worked with us for a number of years as a sign language interpreter and later as a family supporter worker. A number of years ago, she began working with Deafhear in Killarney and trained to be a social worker for the Deaf.

It is a sad loss for their family especially when Eanna was so young and had so much to offer to the world. We are thinking of Eanna and all his family and friends at this time. May Eanna rest in peace.
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21 March 2011 (VOL 9 WEEK 12)

Ireland/Ethiopia deaf project update
It's been a busy few months since our trip to Ambo in Ethiopia last Oct/Nov. People in Ireland have been very supportive and have been very keen to learn about the project. A number of workshops have been given in Dublin, Cork and Tralee. This has given us a chance to show photos of our trip and to give information on the planned developments in Ethiopia.

Our biggest news, which we are very proud of, happened last week- land has finally been secured for the project. The level of compensation for the land has now been agreed. This took some time, as there was alot of trees planted on the land. These had to be counted and recounted. When the number of trees was calculated, it enabled the local Vincentians and the town Council to agree what compensation should be paid for the land. Payment has now been sent to Ethiopia and we hope to have the title deeds and relevant paper work completed this month. The next step will be to submit an application for overseas aid. If this is successful, a Centre will be built to meet the needs of the Deaf community in Ambo.

On behalf of the Irish and Ambo Deaf Community and the Vincentian, we'd like to thank everyone for their support to date. Further updates will be available in due course.

Programme of new government
The new Irish coalition of Fine Gael and Labour has agreed their new programme for government. The new programme includes a section about people with disabilities. It also states "We will examine different mechanisms to promote the recognition of Irish Sign Language" (ISL).

Political parties have committed themselves to promoting and recognising ISL and we have seen very little progress in this area. Make sure your local Government representative is aware of the issues that affect the Deaf community. Action is required in this area and now is the time to make our new Government aware of our needs.

To view the full programme, you can download it from both the Fine Gael and Labour websites.

www.finegael2011.com/index.asp
www.labour.ie/policy/listing/129943050328508293.html.

News for the deaf available on rte website
Many of you will be keen viewers of the News for the Deaf on RTE 1. Many people miss the news in sign language as it is shown before 6pm. You can now view previous editions on the RTE Player, the most recent edition can be viewed at www.rte.ie/news/av/2011/0320/nuacht.html#.

The News for the Deaf is usually towards the end of the Nuacht- click on the bar beneath the screen and drag forward until you see the Deaf presenters - watch out also for some new faces.

Nationwide programme on new book and DVD by Deaf communications
On Friday 25th March the well-known show Nationwide will be broadcasting a full programme on the lives of Deaf people. The programme will be shown on RTE 1 at 7pm. The programme will feature a new book and DVD published by Deaf Communications Ltd entitled ‘ISL Communication Unit 1 & 2’ which is aimed at beginners of ISL. There will be an interview with the author of the book, Patrick Matthews and some transition year students who have been using the book in St. Declan’s College in Cabra.

As a follow on from the interview four members of the Deaf community sign about their life experience, work and interests. They are Julianne Gillen, Wayne Reid, Lianne Quigley and Seán Herlihy. This programme will no doubt be of great interest to anyone in the Deaf Community.

Irish Deaf Kids (IDK) workshop
IDK will host a life skills workshop on the 2nd of April in Portlaoise. The workshop is geared towards teenagers and the theme will be "Meet and Greet".

It aims to give teen attendees skills to use in different areas of life. How to explain their communication needs to random schoolmates, or learn to put 'new' people at ease while explaining they're deaf.

To book a place or to get further information, you can email: info@irishdeafkids.ie.
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14 March 2011 (VOL 9 WEEK 11)

Street collections- volunteers required
We have a number of street collections coming up over the next few months and require volunteers. With restricted funding, these events are a very important source of income for our service.
  • Volunteers are required for the following dates:
  • 19th of March - Castleisland
  • 6th of May - Tralee
  • 15th of July - Killarney
  • 10th of September - Listowel.
If you are available for either of the above locations, please let us know.

New organisation for parents with deaf & hard of hearing children
"Sharing the Journey" is a newly established parent lead organisation, offering unconditional parent-to-parent support for ALL parents of D/deaf and hard-of-hearing children, irrespective of communication, education or technological decisions they have made or will make for their children.

Sharing the Journey was established following in-depth consultation and research, including a consultation event 'Looking Forward' held in The Aisling Hotel last May.

Their first event is in conjunction with Clap Handies and Simply Signing is in St. Vincent’s Centre, Drumcondra, Dublin 7 (Tuesday 15th March 2011) from 10am – 1pm. All D/deaf and hard of hearing babies and toddlers are invited to join them. Admission is free, but advanced booking is essential as places are limited.

For further information on the organisation or to book a place contact Theresa on 087 9163168/ 085 7225659 or email: sharingthejourney2011@gmail.com.

Eurpopean forum of sign language interpreters (EFSLI) conference
The registration for the EFSLI 2011 conference in Italy is now open! If you register before April 15th, you can avail of the early bird price. If you miss this deadline, you can avail of the regular rate up until the 1st of July. Any registrations thereafter will be charge at a 'late' rate. To register, go to the following weblink www.surveymonkey.com/s/efsli2011registration.

UK Health Services are 'failing deaf children with additional needs'
In Ireland, many of us look to the UK as a leading example in service provision to Deaf adults and children. However, a recent report claims deaf children with additional needs are having their futures blighted by bad, unprofessional and often non-existent support and medical care.

The research revealed the "shockingly low" expectations some professionals have of these children: often, the report said, a result of them seeing a collection of conditions instead of the whole child. www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/03/health-services-failing-deaf-acn.

In one case, doctors failed to diagnose a deaf child as also being fully blind until she was 18 months old, despite the mother repeatedly reporting her daughter's inability to see.

In another case, the behaviour of a blind toddler who repeatedly hit his head against hard surfaces was dismissed as normal for a child with learning disabilities. It was not until the father persuaded the doctor to watch a film he had made on his laptop, that the child was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Susan Daniels, Chief Executive of the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) at the University of Manchester, which funded the Complex Needs, Complex Challenges report, said: "We are alarmed by the findings of this research, which shows services are not geared up to support or care for children who are deaf and have other disabilities."

This is a wake up call to professionals in the UK and Ireland. Alot can be learnt from this research. We know from experience, very little investment is made in generic services for the Deaf, never mind about specialist services for Deaf adults and children who have disabilities.

Failure to provide interpreter leads to lawsuit in the states
A Deaf Fort Dodge woman is suing a hospital for allegedly forcing her to use her 7-year-old daughter as a sign-language interpreter before she had surgery.

Jessie Fox says in a federal lawsuit that she asked officials at Trinity Regional Medical Center to provide an interpreter so she could understand instructions from the medical staff. She says the Fort Dodge hospital refused her request, so she had to rely on her daughter, Addison, to translate.

The arrangement led to a medication mix-up and put the girl and her mother an unfair and unsafe situation, the lawsuit says.

"Addison as a 7-year-old did not understand the medical terminology to interpret the information to her mother, Ms. Fox," the lawsuit says. "Ms. Fox was placed in the child-like role, whereas Addison was placed in the adult-like role. Ms. Fox was exasperated, frustrated, and helpless as a parent during her daughter's pre-operative appointment."

In an interview, Fox, 30, said she often has run into such problems as a Deaf person. She filed the lawsuit because she wants medical professionals to understand the need for sign-language interpreters. "This is a discrimination issue," she said through an interpreter.

A spokeswoman for Trinity's parent company, Iowa Health System, said they acknowledged that Trinity needed to improve its ability to communicate with Deaf individuals, and Trinity has undertaken a comprehensive effort to educate staff and provide appropriate services to all Deaf patients.

The hospital has since held staff training on the needs of Deaf people. They asked the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa for assistances and developed signage to make patients aware of interpreter services; and contracted with a company for interpreting and video relay services for Deaf patients.

This is an issue Ireland can learn a lot from? Many hospitals in Ireland do not have comprehensive policies and procedures when they have Deaf patients. In many instances trained and accredited interpreters are not provided. Professionals rely on children or people with minimal signs to communicate with Deaf adults and children and this is totally unacceptable. As a result Deaf people are being discriminated and not informed fully of their medical issues. This issue needs to be addressed on a national basis in Ireland.
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7 March 2011 (VOL 9 WEEK 10)

Cool youth club trip
Susan O'Callaghan, Cool Youth Club Co-ordinator in the Cork Deaf Association (CDA) would like to inform everyone of a trip in Kenmare, Co. Kerry from the 17th to the 23rd of July. There will be a five full day programme with activities such as canoeing, sailing, games, team challenges, water trampolines and cruising.

The camp is open to Deaf, hard of hearing and Kids of Deaf Adults (KODA's) and is open to people from Kerry also. It will be limited to 20 youths and 6 adult volunteers. The total cost will be approx €200 per person, which will include accommodation, activities and interpreter services.

CDA hope to organise fundraising activities to cover the remainder of the costs. They are also hoping to organise a fashion show sometime in May. The age category is between 10 and 17 years old. However, applications will be considered from young Deaf adults who may have a learning disability, autism etc.

We have application forms and a timetable for people living in Kerry. If you would like more information, you can email Susan at susan@corkdeaf.ie.

Live advisor - citizen's information service
The Citizens Information Phone Service's launched their new Live Advisor facility last year. Since then there have been a number of minor changes to the service including the web address where the Live Advisor is hosted. Live Advisor can now be found at: www.ciboard.ie/liveadvisor.

Live Advisor is an instant chat service operating between the hours of 9am to 5pm (Monday to Friday), which is specifically targeted toward Deaf people and people with hearing and speech difficulties and others who have difficulty communicating by telephone.

KDRC items for sale
We have a number of promotional products for sale with KDRC contact details on them. These are part of our fundraising activities. We have mini-flashlights, which cost €3 each. We also have pencils that cost €1 each. They are available from our office in Tralee. However, we would be happy to post them to you with a small charge for postage.

In addition, we have small gold pins with "I love you" in sign language. This is a well-known sign that is recognised internationally. They cost €2 per pin. All income generated from sales of these items go towards the overheads of running our service. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

Ongoing activities in our centre in Tralee
While there has been alot of talk about cuts and doom and gloom- we are continuing to offer a range of activities in our Centre.

We have literacy classes in conjunction with the Deaf Adult Literacy Service (DALS). We also have computer classes, again supported by DALS. In addition, we have one-to-one computer classes with a volunteer one-day a week. Clients can also avail of free Internet, e-mail, videophone, and webcam access. We have five computers in our upstairs office, which are available to the public. As demand for these is high, we would appreciate it if people book in slots so they are guaranteed a place. Art and crafts classes are also being provided by a Deaf tutor. The National Chaplaincy supports our monthly mass in sign language for Deaf people (NCDP). Our outdoor activities with the ITT ran from September to December and we are hoping to provide these activities again next September.

If there are any activities you would like to avail of, contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Irish Deaf Society Roadshow visit to KDRC
The IDS will organise an information meeting in our service on the 19th of April at 2.30pm. Susan O'Callaghan will host this event. This session is an opportunity to learn new information on Health, Education, Community and social matters, which are of relevance to the Deaf community.

Susan will give a presentation followed by 'question and answer' session along with tea and coffee. Further information will be available closer to the day.
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