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Kerryman local news  

27 November 2008 (VOL 6 WEEK 48)

Niall Mellon Trust
We would like to extend our best wishes to Willie White who is heading out to South Africa this Thursday with the Niall Mellon Trust. Willie will join over 2,000 volunteers on a 7 day long building blitz in Khayelitsha just outside Cape Town. This township is home to one million people who mainly live in shacks made of tin, wood and cardboard. The majority of the residents have no access to clean water, electricity or sanitation. Basic education and health care facilities are lacking. The unemployment rate officially stands at a staggering 50%; in reality the figure is sadly much higher. Khayelitsha has one of the highest incidences of HIV/Aids infection in all of South Africa ­ this in a country that the United Nations Aids Foundation recognises as having the second highest HIV/Aids rates globally (after India).

During the building blitz, the Irish volunteers travelling to Site C in Khayelitsha will build 250 houses in total but will contribute to the building of 650 houses through the roofing, plastering and painting of some pre prepared houses. As a result of enormous support and interest, there is now have a workforce of between 1,700 and 2,000 South Africans building homes all year round. It is hoped that 7000 homes will be built in 2008 and this will see 40,000 people re-housed. This would not be possible without the support of the volunteers, the Irish community and financial support both nationally and now internationally. In addition to Willie, there will be a number of Deaf volunteers from Ireland heading out to Africa. We would like to wish them all the best with their work. For more information on the Niall Mellon Trust, go to

Interpreters Workshop Munster
Veronica White will facilitate a workshop for interpreters living in the Munster region this Saturday in the Cork Deaf Association. The workshop will focus on productive and receptive skills and will be useful for those interpreters intending on going forward with the SLIS upcoming accreditation process. This workshop is open to hearing and Deaf interpreters. The workshop will run from approx 11.30am - 4pm. If you would like to attend, please contact Suzanne Carey at immediately.

IDYA Christmas Party
Its that time of year again to eat, drink and be merry. The Irish Deaf Youth Assoc will hold its Christmas party on the 20th of December in Messer Maguires near O' Connell Bridge in Dublin. The party will be from 8pm - 2.30am. There will be raffles, hot food and a late bar. For more information, go to

KDRC Christmas Party
Just a reminder of our own Christmas party, it will be held on the 14th of December in the Abbeygate Hotel. It will be from 2pm - 6pm. A four-course meal will be provided along with a raffle and Santa. It will cost €20 per adult, and €10 per child. If you would like to attend, please contact us immediately as we need numbers for the hotel.

Gill Harold Research Project
We the pleasure of meeting with Gill Harold this week as she continues her research project into the experiences of the Deaf community. Gill's research is part of the studies with the Department of Geography and Applied Social Studies in University College Cork. Gill has met with Deaf people both in Ireland and the UK to examine their experiences of access, education, employment, health, technology and communication. Although Gill is hearing, she has become a great friend of our service and our clients. She has worked hard to integrate into the Deaf community. She has spent a considerable amount of time learning sign language and becoming familiar with the Deaf community and its culture. We would like to wish her the best with the remainder of her research and look forward to disseminating information on her research when it is concluded.
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20 November 2008 (VOL 6 WEEK 47)

Court Calls For Code After Death Of Deaf Man
A JURY has recommended that major changes be made in the way hospitals treat patients with disabilities after hearing how a 60-year-old deaf man died as he tried to walk 50 miles home. An inquest in Galway heard how Seanie Flaherty was trying to walk home to Clifden in Connemara when he was knocked down and killed. The inquest was told that Mr Flaherty, who was deaf, had been treated in University hospital Galway for a suspected broken arm in February this year. A taxi had been arranged by the HSE to bring him to hospital. Staff were not made aware of this. As a result, there was no note attached to his file and transport home was not arranged to provide transport back to his home in Clifden. The jury asked that two recommendations be put in place: that the HSE create a set of guidelines for discharging patients under disability to ensure their safe return home, and that the HSE create a set of guidelines to be given to every taxi driver who brings a patient with disabilities to or from a hospital. For more information on this awful tragedy, check out and

Dublin Deaf Theatre Presents Mary Poppins
Dublin Theatre of the Deaf presents "Mary Poppins" at the Dublin Deaf Club, 40 Lower Drumcondra Road, Dublin 9 on Thursday, 27th November at 8pm, Friday, 28th November at 8pm and Saturday, 29th November at 8.30pm. Admission to the show is €10 for adults; €7.50 for students, OAPs and unemployed and €5 for children. A family rate is available. Come and enjoy the magical show! You can contact Dublin Theatre of the Deaf at mobile: 086 6699917 or email

British Medical Journal
The British Medical Journal recently published an article about access to health services for Deaf people. The article was entitled "Actions Speak Louder Than Words" and was written by Michael Paddock, from King's College London School of Medicine. King’s College has developed an awareness programme for students studying medicine at undergraduate level. Part of this programme relates to Deaf awareness; it is given by deaf trainers and aims to give students the skills to improve communication with profoundly deaf and hard of hearing patients (such as checking hearing aids and maximising communication with patients who lip read). A special study module on Deaf Awareness and BSL is also offered. This comprises a taught BSL component and a written Deaf Awareness project. By the end of the module students are able to use BSL to explore a patient’s health problem at a basic level. Students are encouraged to explore an area of interest for the Deaf Awareness project and have focused on issues specific to health care such as access for profoundly Deaf and hard of hearing patients to health care, and mental health issues as well as broader aspects of Deaf culture.

Hands On: Coming Out
Hands On- the TV programme on RTE for aimed at the Deaf Community is looking for people from the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) community to talk about their experiences. Hands On wants to know what it was like coming out: what was the reaction? What support did your receive? If you are interested in participating in the show or have any useful information please contact Hands On at by email:

Hands On - Happy Birthday
We would like to wish all the team at Hands On a very happy 20th birthday. The show was originally known as Sign of the Times and was presented by the well-known Josephine O Leary. The show has been a very important part of the Deaf Community and gave a voice to the community when there was no other platform to express concerns publicly. We would like to thanks the Directors/ Producers/Production Team/ Presenters and Interpreters for all the work they have done over the past 20 years and look forward to many more interesting programmes.

Irish Deaf Kids
An exhibition of the top photos from the IDK competition will be held from November 17 to 24 at the ILAC Centre Library, off Henry Street, Dublin 1. All are welcome. The competition entries exceeded all expectations (volume and quality). Irish Deaf Kids would like to thank everyone who participated. Judging has taken place and all prizewinners have been notified.

NCDP - Living With Loss
If you have experienced the death of a loved one and feel you might need some support in coming to terms with it, the Chaplains would like to invite you to a talk given by Fr. Bryan Nolan from the Hospice Friendly Hospital Program on Wednesday, 19th November 2008 at 7pm. at Emmaus Chapel, St Vincent’s Deaf Club, 40 Lower Drumcondra Road, Dublin 9. There will be tea and a chat afterwards.

NCDP - Mass In Waterford
A mass will be held in Waterford Deaf Club, Coffee Lane, Heneritta Street, The Quay, Waterford City, on 13th November at 7.30pm.

DS3 - Deaf Support At Third-Level - Website
Trinity College Dublin has launched its DS3 (Deaf Support at Third-Level) website, which has specific zones for students, teachers and access officers. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students are significantly under-represented at third-level in Ireland and aims to change this situation on a national basis to increase the number and retention of these students by providing student-driven supports and services, public education on key issues, and conducting strategic research. Trinity College held a Pre-College Day for Deaf/HOH Students last August. For more information see

Hands Up: Ballyfermot Advocates Isl Guide For Kids
Ballyfermot Advocacy Service has devised an Irish Sign Language (ISL) Guide for Children on the basis that teaching all children ISL is conducive to inclusive education. The book was launched on October 16th in Ballyfermot with a view to teaching an accessible language and reducing communication barriers. The book, Hands Up & Sign has colourful A4-size pages with each letter of the alphabet in upper and lower case. Each letter has an introduction with a short question for readers, leading into a close-up photo of the letter in ISL. Readers are taken through the alphabet and asked if they can sign “apple”, “bee”, “cake”, “dog”, etc, with clear photos of a model showing the signs. Attractive illustrations on each page and in the end-papers add to the fun. This book, produced with the Citizens Information Bureau and Dublin City Council, is ideal for children in the 2 to 8 year-old age group.

The Abbey Theatre Interpreted Perforamnce.
The Abbey Theatre continues to provide access to performances for the Deaf Community. Their next interpreted play will be The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht. The sign language interpreter play will be on Saturday 29 Nov at 2.00pm. There will also be a Captioned & Audio described performance Saturday 6 Dec at 2.00pm. This will be followed by "Lay Me Down Softly" by Billy Roche. Sign language interpreted performance Saturday 22 November 2.30pm To book, you can email:
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12 November 2008 (VOL 6 WEEK 46)

Medical Card Update For Over 70's
The announcement by the Taoiseach on revised criteria for eligibility of the over 70s represents a climb-down by a Government on a budgetary issue that is unprecedented in recent decades. According to the Labour party's website "it is a particular political humiliation for the Minister for Health, Mary Harney, who devised the scheme and the Minister for Finance who made it a central part of his first Budget."

The blog continues by saying "The Taoiseach said in the formula announced this morning that 95 per cent of people over 70 will qualify for medical cards".

The new income thresholds for qualification for a medical card for over-70s are €700pw for a single person, equivalent to €36,500pa, and €1,400pw for a couple, or €73,000pa.

Disability Allowance Update
The Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Hanafin, T.D., announced on the 30th of October that the Government had reflected carefully on the concerns expressed by families and by representative groups since changes to the Disability Allowance scheme was announced as part of the 2009 Budget. On the recommendation of the Minister, the Government has agreed that the existing arrangements, whereby Disability Allowance is paid to 16 and 17 year olds will continue, pending the completion of a full review of the Disability Allowance scheme.

Interpreters Workshop
We would like to extend our thanks to the sign language interpreters who attended a workshop in our service at the weekend. The workshop was open to those working in the Munster area and was facilitated by Willie White. We had interpreters from Kerry, Cork, Limerick and Tullamore in attendance. The day was a great success. Further workshops will be held in the near future. Our next workshop will be held in the Cork Deaf Association on the 29th of November and will be facilitated by Veronica White.

This weekend will see another re-union of CODA's: Children of Deaf Adults in Dublin. This will be the 2nd time the group have met in Ireland since the successful UK/IRELAND CODA camp, which was held in the UK early in the year. Best wishes to everyone involved and we hope they have a great weekend.

GADHOH Ireland
GADHOH-Ireland will be holding an auction this Thursday evening from 6.30pm in Pearse St, Dublin in aid of continuing community and educational development in the Gambian Deaf community through. It will be hosted by Eanna NiLamhna from RTE. In addition, an interpreter is needed for the event. If you are available to interpret, contact GADHOH text/ring 083 334 7951. Show your support by turning up on the night. The income generated will help to continue the great work of a Deaf Irish person by the name of Alvean Jones did when she lived in Gambia for a number of years.

Conference In Tralee
The Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency (DESSA) and International Services Ireland (ISI) has joined forces with the Kerry Network of People with Disabilities to bring you a half day seminar on global disability - 'Putting the World to Rights'.

Would you like to know more about the successes and needs of people with disabilities in the developing world? If so, the event will be held in Fels Point Hotel, Tralee on the 27th of November from 10am to 12.45pm. Interpreters will be in attendance on the day.

Cancellation of Mental Health Course.
The Mental Health Awareness course in Portlaoise, which was planned for the 11th, 12th November and 3rd December, has unfortunately been postponed until January 2009. The Continuous Professional Development office apologises for any inconvenience caused and we would be happy to accommodate learners on the January course. Please confirm if you can attend the new dates by email:
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6 November 2008 (VOL 6 WEEK 45)

Monthly Masses
Our monthly mass for Deaf clients and their families will be held this Sunday, 9th of November. As usual, it will be held in St. John's Pastoral Centre. Veronica White of the National Chaplaincy for Deaf People will interpret the mass. Tea and coffee will also be served. If you require transport to this, please let us know immediately.

In addition to the above mass, there will be masses held in Dublin to remember those who have passed away. On Nov 8th, there will be a mass for past members of the Irish Deaf Sports Association at 7.30pm in the Dublin Deaf Association (DDA). For past pupils of St. Joseph's, a mass will be held in St. Joseph's at 12 noon on the 16th of Nov. Later that day, a mass will be held for Senior citizens in the DDA at 4pm. On Nov 22nd, a mass will be held in the DDA for past pupils of St. Mary's and lastly on the 29th of Nov, there will be a mass for all those who have died in the Deaf Community in the DDA at 7.30pm.

KDRC Christmas/ Winter Celebration Party
Our annual party will be held on the 14th of December in the Abbeygate Hotel Tralee. It will be on from 2-6 pm and promises to be a wonderful event. We will have a 4-course meal, spot prizes and Santa. It will cost €20 per adult and €10 per child. If you would like to attend, please send us your names as soon as possible.

For those of you who attend our monthly mass, our December mass will be held at 1pm in The Abbeygate Hotel.

Supporter of the Year Nominations
It's that time of year again where 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 annual party on the 14th of December and will be presented with a framed certificate, a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine. Get your nominations in now.

Coffee morning in Cork Deaf Association
Spirit of Sign, the Cork Drama Group will hold a coffee morning in the Cork Deaf Association on Saturday, 22nd November. It will be held from 11.30am - 2pm. If you would like to support the group, they are asking for contributions of €5 per person.

Hands On, the TV programme for the Deaf Community is back on your screens on Sunday Nov 9th. The new series will have exciting storylines and information! We would like to wish the production team all the best with the forthcoming series. Put a reminder in your phone and don't miss: HANDS ON 9th NOV SUNDAY 10.40am. For more information on the series, check out Hands On website or go to their Bebo page a

KODA Conference USA Registration
A group of Deaf parents from Ireland will be attending the National KODA Conference next year in the States. Registration is now open at for you to register! The conference is being organised for Deaf parents with hearing kids, and their families! It will be held in Gallaudet University in Washington DC, July 2009. It will be an opportunity to learn about various issues related to raising hearing kids in a Deaf world and how to address them!

There will be various speakers, thought-provoking workshops, and various activities and events at this conference. After attending this 4-day gathering, parents will feel better equipped as they will gain knowledge and information that will enrich their interactions with their children.

WASLI- 3 Year Celebrations
We would like to extend our best wishes to all those involved in the World Assoc. of Sign Language Interpreters. WASLI is celebrating its 3rd birthday on the 2nd of November. Although in its infancy, WASLI welcomed over 220 delegates from 40 countries at its 1st conference in Worchester in South Africa in 2005. With the support of World Federation of the Deaf and the National Association of the Deaf in South Africa, the 3-day conference was the realisation of 20 years work. Since then WASLI has gone from strength to strength. It will hold its 3rd international conference in Durban, South Africa in 2011 and we hope to send delegates to this event. For more information on WASLI, go to
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