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Kerryman local news  

29 May 2017 (VOL 13 WEEK 22)

Campaign to secure official recognition of Irish Sign Language (ISL).
The Irish Deaf Society has been actively involved in a campaign to secure official recognition of Irish Sign Language (ISL). The "Recognition of Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community' Bill is currently going through a number of stages in Seanad Eireann and Dáil Éireann in the hope of becoming Law.

Briefing Document as part of this campaign.
As part of this campaign, the following organisations have developed a briefing document that has been sent to all the Senators in Seanad Eireann: Irish Deaf Society, Centre for Deaf Studies - Trinity College Dublin, Cork Deaf Association, Cork Deaf Club, Cork Deaf Enterprises, Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters and Kerry Deaf Resource Centre.

Senators are due to vote on the next stage of the Bill in June and it's important that they are made aware of our concerns before the Bill moves on to Committee Stage Amendments.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to the statement and in particular for the committee members who took the time to draft it on our behalf.

The statement which is attached relates to the IDS's theme of "Towards Full Citizenship and Equal Access for All" and "Why is Irish Sign Language Recognition So Important?".

It covers the following key areas:
  • Early Access to ISL and Accessible Education.
  • Employment and Careers.
  • Access to Health Care.
  • The Legal System.
  • Politician Engagement.
  • Cultural Life.
  • Interpretation, ISL Teaching and the need for an ISL Council.
The statement finishes off with the following: Become a part of history and vote YES TO ISL.
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22 May 2017 (VOL 13 WEEK 21)

Irish Sign Language (ISL) official recognition.
As many of you may know, the Irish Deaf Society (IDS) have been leading a campaign to get official recognition of Irish Sign Language (ISL).

This a campaign that our service strongly supports and we are committed to working closely with the IDS to secure official recognition.

As part of their campaign, a number of posters have been developed that the IDS are keen to share with everyone. We are asking everyone to copy these posters and share them on your Facebook and social media pages and to send to your local Government TD's and Senators.

10 reasons to recognise Irish Sign Language (ISL) in Ireland poster.
  1. ISL is the second indigenous language of Ireland, alongside Gaeilge, 5,000 Deaf people use ISL. An additional estimated 35,000 "hearing people" also use ISL.
  2. More than 40 local authorities across Ireland have already voted to recognise ISL.
  3. Ireland is one of the last remaining countries in Europe with no formal legal protections in place for its indigenous sign language.
  4. Despite the work of Eileen LeMass MEP on the European Parliament Resolution of Sign Languages in 1988, Ireland has not yet formally recognised Irish Sign Language.
  5. An ISL Act will formalise interpreter provision and provide for greater quality control.
  6. ISL is recognised in Northern Ireland - but not in the Republic.
  7. An ISL Act will ensure the right to greater access to information - for example, ISL websites on par with spoken language translations which are currently available.
  8. An ISL Act will ensure that deaf children can acquire Irish Sign Language, via a fluent, qualified ISL teacher.
  9. An ISL Act will ensure deaf people have access to emergency services in ISL.
  10. An ISL Act will ensure the right to an ISL interpreter in all aspects of the judicial system, not just in criminal law settings.
ISL poster for Dáil Éireann Member/TD and ministers.
A poster for your local Government TD, Minister or Senator has also been created. The poster is entitled "Irish Sign Language - be part of history".

The wording is "On behalf of the Irish Sign Language recognition team, we ask for your support once again so you can become part of Irish history as Irish Sign Language is voted as an official language in Ireland by Dáil Éireann".

Please canvass on our behalf among your party and secure the necessary votes to pass the Irish Sign Language Recognition Bill, so we can be positioned alongside our many EU counterparts as a country that promotes equality, linguistic diversity and active citizenship.

Contact details for TD's:

ISL poster for your senator.
Here is another poster that you can send to your local Senator. Remember in order for the Bill to become law, we need Yes votes from Dáil Éireann (TD's) and Seanad Éireann (Senators).

The title of the poster says "Towards Full Citizen and Equal Access for All". The wording is as follows "As your Senator, I will be supporting equality and full citizenship of the Irish Deaf Community and voting #yestoISL for Irish Sign Language recognition".

Contact details for Senators:

ISL poster to tweet and Tag.
If you have access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media pages, here is a poster to help spread the word about the campaign. The title of the poster is "International Tweet and Tag Campaign". The wording is "Please tweet or tag senators and get them to vote YES in the upcoming vote for Irish Sign language in Dáil Éireann #yestoISL".

ISL photo frame for Facebook.
Lastly, a photo frame has been developed to use on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. You can post the image as a stand-alone image or you can add your photo to it.

This is a great way to create awareness online about the campaign. Don't forget to use the hashtag #yestoISL. We know from meeting with some of the ISL Recognition team, that they really appreciate everyone's support.

For more information on the ISL Offical Recogniton Campaign.
As the campaign continues to grow and progress, the IDS will share posters and updates on their Facebook page including videos in Irish Sign Language (ISL).

If you can support the campaign in any way, we know the IDS would really appreciate the support.

If you participate in any activities to support this campaign, please share this information with the IDS. We know they would love to hear from you. To get updates, like their page at
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15 May 2017 (VOL 13 WEEK 20)

Our manager at Dáil Éireann to discuss ISL official recognition.
Last week, our Manager, Willie White was invited to our Government buildings 'Dáil Éireann' to a meeting to discuss the next stages of the official recognition of Irish Sign Language (ISL) Bill.

The meeting was hosted by the Chair of the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin. Our sincere thanks to him for hosting meeting and for his support of the ISL campaign.

Our service would also like to sincerely thank Gerrie O'Grady from Cork Deaf Association for organising the meeting. This was in support of the ISL Official Recognition Campaign being led by the Irish Deaf Society and we were thrilled to hear Dr John Bosco Conama lead the meeting.

The meeting also included Prof Lorraine Leeson from the Centre for Deaf Studies in Trinity College, Sargent Andrew Geary, a parent of a deaf child, Breda Brosnan of the Cork Deaf Club, Linda Mac Raing of Cork Deaf Enterprises, and Amanda Mohan of the Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters.

Our thanks to Cormac Ó Caoláin for his excellent sign language interpreting work also.

While, there is considerable amount of work to be done, our service will continue to support the work of the ISL Official Recognition Campaign, the Irish Deaf Society and will continue our work with our Government representatives to secure official recognition.

Information on how a bill becomes law.
In the meantime, if you would like information on how a Bill becomes Law, please contact us. We have information in our service that we would be happy to share with you.

Sign Language Interpreting Access at Heritage Ireland Tours.
Heritage Ireland has announced a number of tours with Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreting access.

The next tours will include:
  • 3rd of June 11am - The Casino at Marino.
  • 9th of July 4pm - Dublin Castle.
  • August (to be confirmed) - St. Audoen's Church.
  • September (to be confirmed) - Kilmainham Gaol.
Entrance and tour is free of charge but places are limited so please book soon by emailing:

CODA UK and Ireland weekend in Dublin.
CODA UK and Ireland will host a weekend in Dublin for adult CODAs (Children of Deaf Adults) from Fri 16th - Sun 18th of June. If you are interested in joining our own CODA's, Catherine, Veronica and Willie for the weekend, please email:

Reminder of Ambo Ramble charity cycle for Ethiopia.
The Ambo Ramble Charity Cycle will take place on Saturday the 24th of June in Ballinhassig, Cork. All income from this cycle go towards the Ethiopia Deaf Project (EDP) who support a deaf school in Ambo, Ethiopia.

The cycle is made up of 2 routes: 57km and 127km. A lot of cyclists like to participate in this event as its one of the last training spins before the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.

It costs €30 to participate and this includes food, drink, showers and parking. Registration on the day opens at 8am with a cycle start of 9am. For more information, go to

Our Manager and KDRC Board members are hoping to volunteer on the day of the cycle, so if you register, we hope to see you at the starting and finishing line. Remember, this cycle is for a great cause. We know from our visits to the Ethiopia and from our work with the EDP committee, that the students and staff of the ALDS School in Ambo, Ethiopia really appreciate all the support shown to them over the years.
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8 May 2017 (VOL 13 WEEK 19)

KDRC newsletter back after a short break.
Hello everyone. Our newsletter is back after a short break due to Easter and a number of Bank Holidays.

We generally take a break with our newsletters for our summer holidays in August, our Christmas holidays in December and any Bank Holiday. However, as two Bank Holidays came together so closely this year as well as Easter, we decided to take a longer break than normal. We are now back on track and hope you continue to enjoy our newsletter.

How to add a news item to newsletter.
If you would like us to consider adding a news item to our newsletter, send an email to and in the subject line say 'Add to Update?'. We will then review the information piece. If it's of interest to the Deaf, hard of hearing community, their family members and services providers in Co. Kerry, we will add it to an upcoming update. As we have readers outside of Co. Kerry, we also welcome news items if the Deaf/hard of hearing related piece is of national or international interest.

Our staff also look online for published news items too as another option to add news to our updates.

If you want to submit news to us, we would appreciate it if you could do so before Monday. We try to get newsletters out on Monday lunchtime as local newspapers print our newsletter every so often and they require the information by Monday lunchtime.

Kerry Deaf Women's Group Social Lunch.
The Kerry Deaf Women's Group (KDWG) will host a social lunch on the 31st of May at 12.30pm. The lunch will be held in Benners Hotel, Upper Castle Street, Tralee.

If you would like to attend, please contact KDWG via their Facebook page. If you have any diet requirement, they would appreciate knowing this in advance.

Completion of HSE sexual health promotion course.
In previous newsletters, we mentioned that our Manager, along with two Deaf professionals, Grainne Moloney and Mary Duggan and DeafHear Killarney's Social Worker, Aileen Curtayne were participating in a Sexual Health Promotion course run by the HSE.

The course ran for ten days over 5 months. The course came to an end last week and all participants received a Foundation Certificate in Sexual Health Promotion.

Over the coming months, these four participants are hoping to organise training for our clients on some of the issues covered in the course. If you are interested, please let us know.

Information in sign language from women's aid.
As part of the course, all participants had to facilitate a workshop on a Sexual Health related topic. Our Manager and Grainne Moloney presented a workshop on the range of sign language access polices available in Co. Kerry that support access for Irish Sign Language (ISL) users.

In addition to local policies, they also talked about the fantastic resources available in ISL for Deaf and hard of hearing women if they required support from services such as Women's Aid.

If you have an interest or query on Women's Aid, they have a section on their website for ISL users at and they also have a text service 087 959 7980. For information on ISL access policies in general, please contact us, we would be happy to share the information with you.
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1 May 2017 (VOL 13 WEEK 18)

Bank Holiday.
Our office will close on Monday the 1st of May for Bank Holiday. We will open again on the 2nd of May at 10am.
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