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Kerryman local news  

5 Febuary 2004 (VOL 2 WEEK 5)

There is not much to report this week but the office still remains busy dealing with queries, Irish Sign Language (ISL) classes, home visits, outreach work, interpreting and advocacy work.

Last Saturday saw eight volunteers, four Deaf and four hearing repainting/redecorating the home of one of our members. This would not have been made possible without the assistance of Kellihers Hardware Store and McCowens Hardware, for offering various painting and decorating materials. Thanks also go to Bernadette, Brian, Elaine, Gwen, Niamh, Noelle, Toireasa and Willie for their hard work on Saturday. Although lots were done, another date is to be fixed to do another day of work. If you are interested in helping us out, let us know or email:

We have now written the final draft version of "Providing Information to Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers" for Comhairle front line staff. If you have any final comments to make on the manual, feel free to pop into the Centre within the next two weeks.

We are also revising our Child Protection Draft Policy. If there is anything you would like to add, again, call into the Centre to discuss further.

This week we have two hearing interpreter students from Trinity College Dublin on work experience. They are Hilda Early and Tracey Daley. If you are interested in meeting them, let us know or drop us an email:

Notes for you diary:

  1. Deaf Action Group will have their next meeting here at Kerry Deaf Resource Centre on Saturday 7th February at 3.00pm.
  2. Interagency Working Group on Child Abuse will have their next local meeting on Wednesday 11th February at 3.00pm. If you are interested in attending, contact us here at the Centre.
  3. The Bank of Ireland is providing Scholarship for people with talent and ability but faced barriers because of who they are such as Deaf or disability, social disadvantage, etc. Application for Scholarship is open to candidates wishing to attend: Foundation Course, Third-level entry, Current Third-level, Creative/Performing Arts. The IDS is a nominating body, which entitles it to nominate persons to selection for Scholarship. Closing date is 1st March for Third level entry and current Third level and 1st April for Foundation Course and Creative/Performing Arts. Application form is available from the IDS office. Website is:
  4. Irish Deaf Youth Association will be organising a weekend in April in Killarney. If you are interested in more information, contact us here at the Deaf Centre.

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12 Febuary 2004 (VOL 2 WEEK 6)

Hello all. As its now coming into springtime, lets hope we see an improvement in the weather. Longer days and shorter nights will be most welcome.

To cheer us up after a long winter, we had our first craft class last Thursday and it was a huge success. Sixteen people participated in making cards such as Valentine cards. The skills we learnt will help us to make cards for other events such as St. Patrick's Day and Easter. A huge thanks to everyone who turned up on the day especially to those from the Killarney area. A special thanks to Ildiko for teaching the class. If you are interested in joining this class, it will be held on Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm in our office. Tea and Coffee is provided at the end of the class.

On Saturday, our Deaf Action Group met to make plans for Spain 2007. A raffle took place and the first winner won a huge hamper. The winners of the prizes were as follows: - 1st prize went to Cliona White, 2nd prize of a meal for two went to Noelle Lee, and 3rd prizes of Champagne with Chocolates went to David Cotter. A huge thanks to all those who attended the meeting, especially to those who travelled from Cork and elsewhere. A special thanks to all those who sold tickets and who donated the spot prizes.

On Sunday, we had a great turnout for our Monthly Mass. This is always a great chance for Deaf people and their families to meet with other Deaf. Thanks to Fr. Nolan and to Veronica White for their support of this event.

We also had our Monthly Kids Club on Sunday and we had a surprise party for one of our younger members Abigail. We'd like to wish her a very happy birthday. Remember, we have our kids club on the 2nd Sunday of each month. If a deaf child is celebrating their birthday, please let us know so we can organise cakes and treats like we did last Sunday.

The new Forrest Books catalogue on books on Deaf related issues is now available. Forrest Books stocks a huge range of books and are based in the UK. They accept orders from Ireland- if you would like a copy of the catalogue, please let us know. Website:

In relation to books, we were reading some materials during the week and we were amazed to read the following and thought we'd share this with you. Up until 1914 Deaf people were prohibited from getting married in 30 US states. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals were sterilised in Nazi Germany. It was illegal to provide State funded instruction in sign language between 1880 and 1976 in France. If you have any other interesting facts, why not let us know and we will share them with our readers.

As a result of last week's news, we've now sold the fax machine. However, we still have two Mountcastle doorbell systems available, no money will be charged for these as they were donated to our service. Contact us if you would like to get one of these systems.

Lastly, we have KDRC fridge magnets for sale for €2. They have our hand logo and our contact details on them. If you would like to buy one, please let us know.

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19 Febuary 2004 (VOL 2 WEEK 7)

Work continues to be busy here at the Centre. We continue to welcome your feedback regarding our service and what you would like to see happen. This Centre is here for you.

Deaf Awareness Training
Our thanks go to Marie Hickey, Childcare Co-ordinator, Partnership Trali and thanks also go to the Special Needs Assistant Training Course at the Community College for organising Deaf Awareness Training for their respective groups. The feedback from both groups was excellent. Keep up the good work. If you are interested in Deaf Awareness Training either for yourself or your organisation, do let us know.

Information manual
The Kerry Deaf Resource Centre and Comhairle information manual is almost completed. If you have any final comments, the deadline is this week.

Irish Deaf Youth Association
The Irish Deaf Youth Association (IDYA)have organised an activity weekend in Killarney from 1st to 4th April. Two of Kerry Deaf Resource Centre members will be attending. Deposits are needed before 7th March so contact them quickly by text on 085 737 4734 or by email:

Your education system
The Government wants your views on the Education System in Ireland. It has set up a National Consultation Process on the Irish Education System. It has been set up so that the general public can be involved in future education policy. It is planned to have a debate on the future of education in Ireland with issues as follows: the role of the school in the future, the learning process and how it will change in the future, examinations/qualifications, the role of teachers and other education professionals, the issue of quality and parents information requirements, the role of further and higher education into the future, the social inclusion agenda, the issue of funding, the role of communities and their connectivity with education into the future. The meeting in Tralee will take place on Thursday 11th March at 8.00pm at the Mount Brandon Hotel. An interpreter has been booked for this meeting. For further information see website:

Researching Irish gender signs
Barbara LeMaster, anthropology and linguistics professor at Cal State, Long Beach, USA has recently been given a $74,482 grant to enable her to research on a form of sign language originated in Dublin, Ireland. LeMaster, an expert of deaf culture, began her research of Irish Sign Language almost 20 years ago. Unfortunately, LeMaster was unable to return to Ireland until three years ago to continue her research. As a result of this grant, LeMaster will be returning to Ireland this July in conjunction with her research. “No documented language, spoken or signed, has as extreme gender differences as (Irish Sign Language). I'm interested in how different the two gender languages are from each other, and how the genders resolve those differences. The documentation of gender Irish Sign Language is important for a number of reasons. Unlike other gender different situations, these gender varieties are the product of language socialization experiences that completely segregated males and females, as though deaf girls and boys grew up on separate islands.” LeMaster does have one benefit that she did not have when she began this journey 20 years ago. Modern technology has made it easier for researchers to study, record and preserve rare languages that are rapidly disappearing. With the help of computers, LeMaster can look at different signs for the same word at the same time. “It's my goal to create a DVD dictionary of gendered Irish Sign Language so that anyone may access it,” LeMaster said.

Support for Parents
Pauline Walker from the National Deaf Children's Society in Northern Ireland will come to Tralee on 29th and 30th of April to give a presentation on support services available to parents of Deaf children. If you are interested in attending, let us know or email:

Presenting at Trinity College
The Kerry Deaf Resource Centre has been given the opportunity at presenting at the Centre for Deaf Studies Conference later in the year. If you would like to present and represent the Kerry Deaf Resource Centre, let us know. It would be our hope to have a Deaf person representing us. However, all queries will be welcomed.

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26 Febuary 2004 (VOL 2 WEEK 8)

Hello and welcome to our weekly notes. It's been a cold few weeks but it's refreshing to see the longer days again. We'll start off with Deaf Action Group (DAG) News. They have asked us to inform you of a few things:

  1. A bag-packing event was held in Dunnes Stores in Killarney last week. DAG would like to thank all those who volunteered on the day. A special thanks to Dunnes Stores for allowing the event take place. Further bag-packing days will be planned over the next year.
  2. The next event that DAG is planning is an Easter raffle. Volunteers are required to sell tickets and to get spot prizes. The draw will take place a few days before Easter.
  3. DAG is also planning a Parachute Jump towards the summer months. There will be a minimum of six people taking part in the jump. If you are interested in taking part in the jump, please contact DAG as soon as possible or by email:
  4. DAG's next meeting will be on the 6th of March in our office in Tralee from 1pm to 4pm approximately.
  5. DAG and KDRC would like to pass on our sympathies to Niamh White and her family on the death of her grandfather. Niamh is a very active member of DAG, our thoughts are with her and family at this time.
  6. Lastly, if you would like to contact DAG, they have a new email address:
Kerry Deaf Resource Centre would like to thank the Kerry Supported Employment Consortia for inviting us to give them a Deaf Awareness talk during the week. A special word of thanks to two of our Deaf staff members, Aaron Spencer and Bernadette O'Connor for giving the training on our behalf.

In the next few weeks, Deaf Awareness training will be offered to Partnership Tra Li and to Youthreach Tralee. We are delighted to be able to offer this training. As always, we insist on having Deaf people participate in providing the training.

This weekend, Veronica and Catherine White will represent us at a CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) weekend in the UK. The event will be held in Derby from Friday to Sunday. If you are a Deaf parent and would like to discuss parenting issues, you can subscribe to the following e-group:

We just got a new supply of hearing aid batteries in stock. As always, it costs €3 for a pack of six. We also have catalogues from Sound Advantage in the UK on equipment for Deaf and hard of hearing. If you would like a copy of this catalogue, let us know. All equipment that we order comes from Irish sources. However, the catalogue is useful as it gives information and pictures of all the equipment that is available.

We also have a video produced by the IDS (Irish Deaf Society). It contains a range of information on Deaf related issues. It was filmed at their recent Information night in Dublin on the 16th of January 2004. For those living in Kerry, we will show this video after our next monthly Mass. Alternatively, contact the IDS for a copy.

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