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Kerryman

17 October 2011 (VOL 9 WEEK 43)

Ongoing delays with equipment application process for deaf & hard of hearing
Since March 2011, there has been a hold up in funding for equipment applications for Deaf and hard of hearing in Kerry and Cork. We have just been informed that doorbells and fire alarms have been approved for March applicants. However, we do not know when the remaining equipment applications will be sanctioned. This issue is totally out of our control and sadly has not been fully addressed yet. We would like to apologise to our clients for the ongoing delays. We have done everything in our power to address these concerns with the relevant bodies and hope a positive outcome will happen quickly.

As a direct result of the delays, our Outreach service to elderly groups and Day Care Centres has been put on hold for the past number of months. If and when, issues are addressed and the backlog of equipment is cleared, we will reinstate these visits again.

Next monthly mass in sign language
Our next monthly mass will be held on the 13th of November. As usual the venue will be St. John's Pastoral Centre in Tralee. Veronica White of the National Chaplaincy will interpret the Mass. Tea and coffee will be served afterwards. If you require accessible transport to the Mass, please let us know.

Simply signing online shop
Simply Signing is delighted to announce that their much loved Irish Sign Language books, posters and puppets are available to purchase on their website at www.simplysigning.ie.

They have now included a large selection of puppets and puppet bundles for you to enjoy and capture the imagination of children, parents and teachers alike. Their books and puppets can capture the essence of fun and start you on your sign language journey.

If you would like to place an invoice order for a school or crèche, you will need to email or post your order on an official Purchase Order or on your school headed paper.

Simply Signing is now on Facebook too. For more information, contact Lorna McCormack (Director). Tel: 01 8257685 or email: info@simplysigning.ie.

Volunteer sign language interpreters required for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress
The 50th Eucharistic Congress will be held in Dublin from the 10th-17th of June 2012. Following discussions with the International Catholic Deaf Foundation, it has been agreed that there will be a full Deaf track at next year’s Congress, including six workshops facilitated by the Foundation and signed for the Deaf.

The National Chaplaincy for Deaf People has put out a call for volunteer sign language interpreters for the congress. A video in sign language is available on Youtube with further information. To view the clip, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAxAKxNOWvw.

DeafHear press release "referendum commission snubs deaf voters".
In a press release this week, DeafHear a national organisation working with Deaf and hard of hearing people objected strongly to a decision by the Referendum Commission not to have any sign language presentation in its Referendum television campaign.

DeafHear Chief Executive, Niall Keane, said, "It is extraordinary that the Referendum Commission ignored our access advice because their PR company told them it would not improve accessibility significantly (for Deaf viewers) and might detract from the overall impact".

Mr. Keane added, "We were told it would distract other viewers. Cost was not an issue as it is relatively cheap to sign the advertisement. We recommended that sign language was necessary to make the advertisement accessible to the 5,500 citizens who use Irish Sign Language as the primary means of communication, and who incidentally cannot avail of the radio advertising which is being provided by the Commission".

Mr. Keane acknowledged that the Commission will provide, on request, a sign language translation of an information leaflet to be posted to households nationally, and that the television advertisement is being subtitled for hard of hearing viewers. However, he stated "the general public is getting three bites of the information cherry – the radio advertisement, the television advertisement and a personal leaflet posted to their home. In contrast, a Deaf voter will get less than one bite of the cherry – an information leaflet in sign language on a DVD, but only if you know to request it".

"The access and communication needs of Deaf voters are being suspended by the Referendum Commission on dubious PR advice that a sign language presentation would detract from their masterpiece and might even distract other viewers". Mr. Keane called the decision "a disgraceful omission which disadvantages a significant community of potential voters who are already disadvantaged in information terms".

He said, "If the sign language using community was recognised as a town population, it would be the 69th largest town in Ireland, larger than Kells, Birr, Roscommon or Mitchelstown, and significantly larger than the population of an average Irish town".

Pleading for "equity of access for all citizens, including Deaf citizens", DeafHear pointed out that the Programme for Government pledges to examine mechanisms for promoting Irish Sign Language and that at least one Presidential Candidate (Sean Gallagher) presented his bid for the Presidency in sign language on his website.
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10 October 2011 (VOL 9 WEEK 42)

Sporting activties with the ITT
Due to bad weather, our surfing event with the Health and Leisure Dept in the Inst. of Technology, Tralee was cancelled. However, this did not put a damper on the day. Our group stopped off for a very informative tour of Ardfert Cathedral. Our thanks to the staff there for being so welcoming to our group. This was followed by cream scones and tea in Kate Brown's Bar. We finished the day by going for a Thai lunch to say a big thanks and goodbye to John Patrick Doherty who finished up on summer work experience with our service.

Last week, the weather was in our favour and we participated in the High Ropes activities in Dingle. This is a very challenging course, which our group thoroughly enjoyed. Our thanks to the ITT staff and students for being so welcoming and supportive.

We finished the day by going to the Dingle Waterworld Centre and were lucky enough to see feeding session with their penguins.

The next events with the ITT will be:
  • Water activities (kayaking/canoeing) in Cappanalea on the 19th of October.
  • Orienteering on the 23rd of October.
  • Indoor rock climbing in Dingle on the 7th of December.
If you would like to participate in any of these events, please let us know. If you do not want to take part, you can come along to observe.

ITT students sports questionnaire
Would you be interested in filling out a "Survey of Physical Activity and Outdoor Adventure Activities of People who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing"? If so, please let us know and we will forward you a copy. 4th year Health and Leisure students who worked with us last year on our sporting activities are carrying out the survey.

The questionnaire includes questions such as:
  • What level of physical activity do you consider you take?
  • What makes it difficulty or are there any barriers for you to participate in physical activity?
  • Are there any additional barriers to taking part in outdoor adventure activities as opposed to other physical activities?
  • What would you like to see occur so that there would be more opportunities available for people Deaf/hard of hearing to participate in physical activities and or outdoor activities?
MDSC annual regional meeting
The Munster Deaf Sports Council will hold their annual regional meeting on the 22nd of Oct in Hayes Hotel, Thurles. The meeting will be held from 1pm - 4 pm. The meeting is open to members and non-members. On the day, you will also have the opportunity to take up membership and to order an MDSC polo shirt.

For more information, you can email: munsterdeafsports@gmail.com.

Live advisor service launched
The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD recently officially launched a new instant chat information service for called ‘Live Advisor’ specifically for people with hearing and speech difficulties. The Citizens Information Board funds the service.

'Live Advisor' is a free, confidential, one-to-one service, which provides information on a wide range of social and civil rights and entitlements. The Live Advisor service, which is user friendly in design, is available between the hours of 9am and 5pm (Monday to Friday) and can be accessed by logging on to www.ciboard.ie/liveadvisor.

Commenting at the launch Minister Joan Burton TD said, "The importance of information provision cannot be over emphasized as it is a key element in assisting people to participate in society. I am very familiar with the fact that people’s rights and entitlements can so often stand or fall on the quality of information available to them and on the level of access to information".

"The Citizens Information Phone Service team is very proud to now be in a position to assist people that previously had difficulty accessing our service. It is a step forward in our philosophy of inclusion for all" said Deirdre Power, Manager of the Citizens Information Phone Service (CIPS).

The service was actively promoted in 2010 with relevant voluntary bodies like the Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) Irish Deaf Society, DeafHear, Cork Deaf Association, DFI and MS Ireland.
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3 October 2011 (VOL 9 WEEK 41)

Training - Deaf people with learning disability
Do you work with Deaf people with a learning disability? If yes, then you might be interested in attending a two-day training course organised by our service on November 3rd and 4th in Tralee.

The aim of the course is to help support Deaf people with a learning disability on the death of a loved one. The training will cover areas such as: Practical measures to support service users before, during and after bereavement. Information on mainstream services that provide bereavement support. Identification of behaviour specific to people with intellectual disabilities at the time of the loss and bereavement.

The training will be provided by St. Michael’s House, which is a service for people with intellectual disability. It has developed a programme called "Live & Let Die".

Places are limited. The cost to attend the training is 150 euro for professionals and €25 for the unemployed. A specific rate may be available to those working in the Deaf community. Your employer may be able to cover the cost training as part of your Professional Development.

Sign Language interpreters will be provided. If you are interested, please contact us.

Tutor Training Workshops (DALS)
The Deaf Adult Literacy Service is looking for new Deaf adult tutors. Training will be provided to tutors from Kerry, Galway, Waterford, Sligo, Donegal, Meath, Louth, Tipperary and Dublin.

Training will be provided in Dublin on the following dates: 15th and 16th of October, 19th and 20th of November, & the 3rd and 4th of December. Contact Susan Whelan at susan@irishdeafsociety.ie or by text at 085 284 1884 for more information. The workshops and lunch are provided free of charge.

Hands On - Looking for interesting stories
'Hands On', the programme that is aimed at the Deaf community is currently planning their 16th series of the programme. They are looking for some contributors for their chat show! Do you know of anyone with an interesting story to tell, who has achieved something amazing or has an unusual hobby?

If you do then drop Camilla an email at camilla@mindthegapfilms.com with a brief summary about the person you know as they'd love to hear all about it!

For more information on Hands On, go to www.rte.ie/tv/handson/.

IDYA 25th Anniversary reminder
The Irish Deaf Youth Association will be having their 25 Years Anniversary in the Radisson Hotel, Athlone this November 12th. Tickets cost €55, which must be paid in full by 21st October. Ticket can be paid in installments by placing a non-refundable deposit of €20.

The event is open to all over the age of 18. To buy a ticket, you can email: 25years@irishdeafyouth.com or you can send a text message to 085 1984166

The IDYA have also agreed a special rate with the hotel for those going to the IDYA Hollywood Ball. You cannot get this rate online, only by booking through Siobhan on her email. The cost for a Double/Twin Room is €99 and single room is €85. Email: siobhan.doyle@radissonblu.com to book your room and remember to mention you are attending the IDYA event.
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