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Kerryman local news  

25 November 2013 (VOL 10 WEEK 47)

Successful interpreter training for SLIM members.
We would like to extend a big thank you to Cathy Mc Cormack &amop; Rory O'Donnell for providing training to Sign Language Interpreters Munster (SLIM) in Limerick at the weekend. We had a great turnout of interpreters and we are sure this information will be of benefit to them in their interpreting work.

Cathy is Deaf and a trained Occupational Therapist. She also lectures in OT in Trinity College. She outlined the work &amop; role of OT's and multidisciplinary teams (MDT's) and what would be expected of interpreters if they worked with OT's & MDT's? She also listed the attributes she would require if an interpreter were to work with a Deaf OT like herself.

Rory gave a talk on Physical Therapy and the benefits of this for sign language interpreters. He also demonstrated a range of pre-work stretches, and talked about repetitive strain injury, posture, injury prevention and general stretches and exercises.

Our thanks to all the interpreters who travelled near and far for the training. Our sincere thanks also to the Deaf Community Centre for allowing us to use their rooms on the day.

Access in hospitals.
We've received a high number of queries about sign language access to hospitals funded by the HSE. If you require access, you should ask your GP to write to the hospital in advance of your appointment and request access under The Equal Status Acts &The Disability Act. You can also contact our service and we will contact the hospital on your behalf.

If you are not happy with the response, each hospital has a Complaints Officer, appointed under the Health Act 2004. The Complaints Officer will examine your complaint and give you a written response within a stated period and advise you of your right to an independent review by a Review Officer.

If you are not happy with the outcome of this, you can write to the Office of the Ombudsman Office. Issues can include: communication difficulties, failing to get your informed consent to a procedure, having staff who are rude or unhelpful or who discriminate against you, refuse to give you information to which you are entitled to or failing to deal properly with your complaint. For more information, a leaflet is available at

Reminder of Christmas fair for the Ethiopia Deaf Project.
On the 8th of Dec, a Christmas Fair will be held in the Ballyphehane Community Centre from 2-6pm with all proceeds going to the Ethiopian Deaf Project. This follows on from a very successful fair held last year. A mass in sign language will also be said at 12oc in the Lough Hall.

We are also looking for people to bake & donate cakes, buns, apple tarts etc. If you are happy to bake & donate, please let us know ASAP. If you are based in Tralee or Killarney, Willie White will be able to collect them on the morning of the 8th before he travels to Cork. If you are in the Cork area, you can make contact with Susan O'Callaghan in the Cork Deaf Association.

New phone APP on Irish Sign Langauge
As part of the EU INTERREG IVA Programme, a new app on basic Irish Sign Language (ISL) & British Sign Language (BSL) has been developed. The app is part of the Deaf Communications Infrastructure Development.

The app is called SignBasic and can be downloaded via your phone App provider. For more information, you can also go to

Queen to confer OBE on Deafblind priest.
We would like to extend our sincere and best wishes to Cyril Axelrod, a Deaf and blind Roman Catholic priest who has been awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth. Cyril travels internationally, often on his own as part of his work with the Deaf and blind community. It is for that work, developing training services and supporting blind and deaf people all over the world, that Axelrod will receive the OBE.

Cyril lives in London but travels extensively for his work among the deaf-blind: to China at least twice a year and with regular trips to Malta, Slovakia, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Australia, Canada and South Africa. He speaks or understands at least 15 languages, including Cantonese. To read more about this remarkable man, go to

Book & Gift Club is back.
Our Book & Gift Club is back. All items can be purchased and can be viewed in our office this week.

Items on sale include: Dazzling Headbands 10 euro, Candle Lamp 9 euro, 4 Book Set ‘Things That Go' 8 euro, Santa & Snowman Large Fridge Magnet 10 euro,'Mickey Mouse Book' 12 euro, Fab 60sv 12 CD Set 12 euro, Friends 4pc Coasters 10 euro, Gents Manicure Set 8 euro, Oven Mate 6 euro, 4Book Set - Cinderella etc 8 euro, Sing with me this Christmas 7 euro, LED Magnifying Glass 8 euro, Fairy Necklace Trinket Box 6 euro, White Family Frame 10 euro
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18 November 2013 (VOL 10 WEEK 46)

Orienteering in Ballyseedy woods.
As part of our ongoing activities with the Inst. of Technology Tralee, we will be participating in a fun and challenging Orienteering event on the 27th of November.

The event will start at 11am and should finish between 12.30 and 1pm. If you are interesting in attending, please let us know as soon as possible.

Our thanks to the Health and Leisure Dept of the ITT for continuing to include Deaf and hard of hearing in the activities.

Deaf & interpreters in medical/palliative care settings.
Last week we had the great pleasure of working with Dr. Una MacConville as part of her research on the experiences of Deaf people and interpreters in medical settings and palliative care.

Una would be very interested in hearing from Deaf people and interpreters on their experiences of meeting their GP's, attending hospital appointments or palliative care.

You can contact Una by email at or by text at 086 8175530.

Our christmas party.
Our annual Christmas party will take place on Sunday 8th of December in Stokers Lodge in Tralee (near Tralee Train Station). The party will be held from 2 to 6pm. It will cost €20 per adult and €10 per child. Santa will come for a short visit during the party and we will also have spot prizes.

If you would like to attend, please send us your details and payment by the 3rd of December.

Supporter of the year awards.
It's that time of year again when we are looking for nominations for our Deaf and hearing Supporter of the Year Awards. Do you know of a person, organisation or a service that has been supportive of Deaf issues in the past year? Has someone contributed to improving the lives of Deaf people in Kerry? Has access improved in a particular service? If so, send us their names and we will consider them for an award. The successful people will be announced at our Christmas party and will be presented with a framed certificate, a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine. Get your nominations in now.

Calendars for sale for the ethiopian deaf project.
We are selling 2014 calendars with all proceeds going to the ongoing costs of the Ethiopian Deaf Project in Ambo, Ethiopia. The calendars cost €3 each. We can also post them for a small fee to cover postage.

Many of you will know that as a result of ongoing fundraising, the Ambo Lazarist Deaf School opened on the 30th of December 2012. In addition, land was secured nearby with 5 buildings. These buildings will be developed into a Vocational Skills Training Centre and a Deaf Centre. Obviously this is dependant on donations and fundraising activities.

The team really appreciate all the support we have received to date. For more information, go to

CODA trip to Ethiopia.
As part of our ongoing support of the Ethiopian Deaf Project and the Ambo Lazarist Deaf School, a small group of Irish & American CODA's are hoping to travel to Ethiopia from the 27th of July to the 7th of August 2014.

For those who do know, in the Deaf community, children of Deaf adults are known as CODA's. The team will be made up of Willie White, Veronica White and their cousin Steven White along with 3 American CODA's siblings- the Canne sisters.

The trip is in early planning stage at the moment. However, fundraising activities have already commenced. If you would like to make a donation to Steven, Kayla, Ashley & Megan, you can go to

We would like to wish the group well in their fundraising. For more information, you can contact Willie White via our service.
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11 November 2013 (VOL 10 WEEK 45)

Deaf & interpreters in palliative care & primary care.
Our service will be meeting with a Sociologist next week who is currently involved in a development project: Interpreters in palliative care: on signing terms—matters of life and death for deaf persons. This is a project funded by the Irish Hospice Foundation and the HSE National Social Inclusion Unit.

The project is in its early stages and the researcher is keen to find out about the challenges for Deaf people in health care settings and particularly in palliative care contexts. She is also keen to find out about the challenges for ISL interpreters, interpreting in health care and again particularly palliative care.

The researcher considers Kerry Deaf Resource Centre to be a very active and dynamic organisation, which has been instrumental in providing interpreter services in primary care. If you would like to get involved in this research, we can pass on your details to the research team.

Disability stakeholders group on ISL.
As part of the National Disability Strategy, the Disability Stakeholders Group will hold its 1st first thematic meeting at the end of November on Irish Sign Language (ISL).

The Programme for Government states on page 54 that 'We will examine different mechanisms to promote the recognition of Irish Sign Language'.

Willie White from our service has been invited to attend this meeting but due to other commitments is unable to attend. However, our service is keen to ensure the views of the Deaf community in Co. Kerry are still represented at this upcoming meeting.

Have you any thoughts/views on ISL recognition? If so, we would be delighted to hear from you. In addition, what would you like to see Government Departments & Public Services do to ensure access for the Deaf community to their service.

You can email your suggestions to or you can text us on 087 6334687 or send a message to us on our facebook page at

Kerry & Cork deaf folks group events.
There are a number of get-togethers planned for the Kerry & Cork Deaf Folks group. On the 3rd of Dec, the group will meet at 11.30am in the Macroom Castle Hotel for a chat & cup of tea, which will be followed by Christmas lunch. It will cost €32 per person and includes tea/biscuits/3 course lunch.

On the 17th of December, Fr.Gerard Tyrell will say Christmas Mass in the Cork Deaf Association (daytime - time to be confirmed). This will be followed by bingo. Fr. Gerard will also say mass for members of CDC at 7.30pm approx. If you would like to attend any of the events, please let us know, as numbers will need to be confirmed.

Simply signing communication fans.
As part

Seanad Eireann supports ISL recognition campaign.
Simply Signing has developed a set of 4 Communication Fans, which depicts Irish Sign Language and widget symbols. Each fan has 5 signs and 5 symbols colourfully presented to support the inclusion and teaching of deaf children, children with special needs, children with social communication difficulties and second language learners. Also designed to support visual and kinetic learners.

Set 1- Doctor/ hospital appointment. Set 2- Mealtime. Set 3- Social skills. Set 4 Feelings. For more information, go to or text 086805 3987.

Reminder of fire alarm scheme.
We have now received a supply of fire alarms for Deaf and hard of hearing. If you want to apply, consideration will be given to those who do not have a fire alarm in their home or have an alarm that is not accessible to them. You will need to submit your name, address, PPS number & outline why you require an alarm.

In Phase 1, if you have a mild hearing loss, you can apply for a standard smoke alarm and optical alarm. This scheme will be initially restricted to 50 applicants. If you are Deaf or have a severe hearing loss, approx 25 vibrating & flashing light strobe wifi alarm systems will be available. Our thanks to Kerry Fire Service and the Kerry Co. Council Community & Enterprise Dept for supporting this initiative.

Reminder of signed performance of wicked.
The sign language interpreted performance of 'Wicked' on the 10th December is almost sold out. The event will be held in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Grand Canal, Dublin. Wicked was a smash hit in both the West End and Broadway.

Tickets can be bought via Ticketmaster or by contacting the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.
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4 November 2013 (VOL 10 WEEK 44)

Sign language access to Dept. of Social Protection.
As a result of our last update, which focussed on sign language interpreting access to Government Depts and Public Bodies, we had a number of requests on how to access the Dept of Social Protection (DSP).

DSP have assured us that interpreters can be booked for clients if they require access to Social Welfare Offices, Community Welfare & the newly established Intreo services.

Staff in any of these offices can log onto the DSP intranet and go to the 'Information & Customer Section'. In this section, they will find a policy 'Procedures for Translation & Interpreting'. This policy lists a number of contact people in the Department who can sanction a request for an interpreter.

For more information on the DSP's access policy, you can email

Fire alarm scheme.
Over the coming weeks, we hope to launch a limited Fire Alarm scheme for Deaf and hard of hearing in Co. Kerry. If you want to apply, consideration will be given to those who do not have a fire alarm in their home or have an alarm that is not accessible to them. You will need to submit your name, address, PPS number & outline why you require an alarm.

In Phase 1, if you have a mild hearing loss, you can apply for a standard smoke alarm and optical alarm. This scheme will be initially restricted to 50 applicants. If you are Deaf or have a severe hearing loss, approx 25 vibrating & flashing light strobe wifi alarm systems will be available. Our thanks to Kerry Fire Service and the Kerry Co. Council Community & Enterprise Dept for supporting this initiative.

Freelance on-screen sign language presenters.
In a recent update, we mentioned that RTE was beginning to feature programmes with sign language interpreters imposed on the screen. Our own Catherine White was the interpreter for the initial programmes.

The company with responsibility for creating these interpreted programmes are delighted to announce opportunities for Deaf and hearing freelance onscreen presenters to work with their award-winning and highly skilled team based in Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

If you are fluent in Irish Sign Language (ISL), British Sign Language (BSL), American Sign Language (ASL) or International Signs (IS) and are passionate about access for Deaf people, then this could be the job for you.

ITV SignPost are looking for people of all ages who have NVQ level 4/6 in BSL, an equivalent post graduate or degree qualification, or an ISL equivalent standard. You should also have: skills in telling children's stories in sign language, experience in translating information for TV, websites or DVDs, a background in acting or drama, enthusiasm and commitment to produce high quality sign language translations

If you are enthusiastic, have a commitment to delivering high quality sign language translations and want to work with a professional bi-lingual team, please send your CV to Joseph Sheridan, Deaf Team Manager or contact for an informal chat. Email: SMS: 07825 960503.

Hands On back on RTE.
Hands On is back on your screens for its 18th series! Programme 1 takes a look at this year's Deaflympics, how Ireland fared and what the future holds for Deaf sports.

Caroline McGrotty visits the Football and Badminton teams who represented Ireland in Bulgaria; following them in their preparations before the Deaflympics and catching up with them on their return. Featuring interviews with Football Coach Jamie Wilson, Assistant Manager Geoffrey Foy, Captain Darren Dunne, midfielder Seán Young, Badminton Director Ivan Gryzlov and badminton players Shane Keogh, Johnny Corcoran and Aidan Connor.

While the teams did Ireland proud, Hands On wonders why this is the first year since 1981 that Team Ireland came home from the Deaflympics without a medal? Paul Ryder of Deaf Sports Ireland explains the challenges facing Irish Deaf sport. Hands On ask Nora Duggan and Deaflympic veteran Dee Byrne-Dunne if they feel the glory days of Irish Deaf swimming are over for good and if enough is being done to develop female Deaf athletes.

Be sure to tune in at 12.30pm, Saturday November 16th on RTE One, or you can catch the repeat at 10.30am, Sunday November 17th on RTE One. The programme will also be made available on the RTE Player and at

Simply Signing big announcement!!!
Since its establishment, Simply Signing's mission is to promote the education of Irish Sign Language to all children, to provide a colourful access through our publications, devoted to early intervention and educational work with children, educators and their caregivers.

Simply Signing has been working very closely on a fantastic project with the Dublin Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland. As many of you know signing has been identified and is advocated as a vital form of communication support for any child with delayed speech and/or temporary or fluctuating hearing loss. As consultants on this project, Simply Signing filmed 250 ISL signs and developed a wonderful animated signing character for children.

This will be an enjoyable and wonderful tool for all children, and children with hearing loss and special needs. Simply Signing would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the team in DSI Dublin and all involved in this project. To view the clip, go to
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