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Kerryman local news  

27 February 2012 (VOL 10 WEEK 9)

5K fun run with ITT
Our service has benefited from sporting activities with the Health and Leisure Dept of the ITT over the past number of years. A number of the 3rd year students are hosting a 5k fun run on Thursday 1st March at 1 o'clock starting from the front gates of the south campus. All proceeds will go to Campabilities - a residential sports camp held annually in Fossa for children with vision impairments, which the students will be volunteering on over the Easter holidays. The cost of participating is €2 for students and €5 for staff. Registration will take place on both campuses at lunchtime on Wednesday 29th February. Sponsorship cards are available on request. A video on Campabilities 2011 is available at:

Sighted guides are available for any participants with sight issues - please let the ITT know in advance if this is required. Spot prizes will be given to participants on the day. Please come and support the event as a participant or spectator.

If you would like to participate on the day, send us your details.

Language acquisition of a deaf child in Ireland
Deirdre Byrne-Dunne will be giving a presentation on language acquisition of a deaf child on Saturday 10th of March. The event will be held in the Deaf Community Centre, 96a O'Connell St in Limerick. It will be held from 11am to 12 noon and 12.30 to 1.30pm.

A sign language interpreter will be provided. If you are interesting in attending the talk, the deadline is Wed 7th of March.

Deirdre Byrne- Dunne is well known in the Irish Deaf community and holds a Dip. in ISL Teaching; M.Phil. in Applied Linguistics and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education & currently doing BA in Humanities (Literature) in Humanities (Literature).

For more information, you can contact the DCC by tel: 061-469854, text: 086-7348641, email:

Further information on the DCC is also available on their website:

Volunteers required for IEC 2012
The International Eucharistic congress will be held in Ireland in June. During the week long Congress, there will be Deaf Track for the three days out of 7 days (14th – 17th June). Deaf people will be coming from various parts of the World to participate in seminars, workshops and socialising and interacting with other people. There will be several evenings for social gatherings and cultural events taking place during that week. The organisers are looking for as many Deaf & hearing volunteers who can give their time during the week, half day/full day, or 2/ 4/ 7 days.

The range of roles that are required will cover workshops, seminar, Deaf interpreting, communicating & socialising with hearing and Deaf participants. Volunteers are also required for Deafblind interpreting.

For those who wish to be volunteers, an application form needs to be submitted by February 29th as they to be sent onto the Volunteering section in early March. For more information, contact Frankie Berry, National Chaplaincy for Deaf People, Tel: 01 8305 744, Mob: 087 940 0333, Website:

Students on placement from the centre for deaf studies (CDS)
Conor Patrick O'Beirne a 3rd year sign language interpreting student from the Centre for Deaf Studies will be on placement with our service this week. This is an opportunity for students to work with an experienced interpreter and to learn about issues that are relevant to the Deaf community. If you would like to meet with Conor, please let us know.

In a number of weeks, we will have a 2nd student and his name is Anthony Claffey- again an interpreting student from CDS. If you would like to meet with him too, let us know. This is a good opportunity for the students to meet Deaf people from different backgrounds and to become familiar with the wealth of sign language skills that we have in the Kerry Deaf community.

CDS workshops for interpreters
The Medisigns project ran a very successful workshop over the weekend "The Practise Profession Approach to Healthcare Interpreting". The presenter was Robyn Dean of Herriot Watt University, Scotland.

A further workshop will be held on Friday 13 April in the Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin, from 10am to 5pm. The theme will be "Interpreting in Mental Health Settings" and is being sponsored by MEDISIGNS & SIGNALL 3. The workshop is limited to 20 participants and there is no charge for it.

The presentation will be given by Dr. Hanneke BOT (Lessius University College, Belgium). Dr. Bot is a Dutch registered psychotherapist who has been working with asylum seekers and refugees with psychiatric illnesses since 1995. Her PhD research was on communication with an interpreter in mental health care. She teaches in the Master in Interpreting programme at Lessius University College, Antwerp, Belgium and trains health providers and interpreters in the specific aspects of their cooperation in healthcare talk. Hanneke Bot has published widely on interpreting in (mental) health care and on intercultural (psycho)therapy. This full day workshop will focus on role and relational issues in interpreting in mental health care and translation problems in therapeutic talk.

For more information and updates, go to
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20 February 2012 (VOL 10 WEEK 8)

The Touchstone Centre - new residential Community for young Deaf adults
Last week we shared with you a policy on the residential needs of Deaf adults with social, emotional, learning disability and mental health issues. Following this, we met with Geraldine Gallagher, Director of Care and Linda Tierney, Care Manager from St. Joseph's Home, Brewery Road in Stillorgan in Dublin.

This week our update will profile a new service, which is being developed within St. Joseph's Home for young Deaf adults in need of supported accommodation.

The residential, linguistic and cultural needs of Deaf people with social, emotional, learning disability and mental health issues have been ignored for too long and Deaf residents have suffered as a result for decades.

Significant funding has been spent on residential services, which has left Deaf people institutionalised, ignored and discriminated. With the move to community based settings, Deaf people are still being housed in settings that do not take into consideration their communication and cultural needs. In addition, very little attention is being given to their health and safety needs. Residential settings need to reflect the linguistic and cultural needs of Deaf sign language users. This is standard practice in other countries and Ireland is lagging far behind most countries in the world.

This new service is long overdue and a welcomed development in Ireland. Not only should it be developed in Dublin but also replicated across the country. We are aware of at least 3 Deaf adults from the south who have been sent to Derry at a huge cost to the taxpayer. This money could be directed to services based in the republic of Ireland.

The following information has been extracted from The Touchstone Centre newly published leaflets.

Welcome to ‘The Touchstone Centre,’ a new care home for young Deaf adults situated in St Joseph’s House. Touchstone offers countless opportunities for self-expression and self-development in a caring, supported environment.

'This is an exciting new chapter at St Joseph’s House,’ says Director of Care Geraldine Gallagher.’ We are expanding our services to address this recognised and growing area of need, with a new wing dedicated to enabling young Deaf people to rediscover their independence, to connect with a community and to embrace all the vibrant richness life has to offer.’ For well over forty years, St Joseph’s has provided the highest standards of residential care for Deaf adults from throughout Ireland. This wealth of experience has now been refined to meet the care needs of vulnerable young Deaf adults. The centre’s trained and experienced staff work closely with families to welcome young Deaf adults, providing supported independence.

The lifestyle in The Touchstone Centre is easy-going, relaxed and pleasant. Nestled in a quiet, green corner on Brewery Road, Stillorgan, the centre is only a short walk from Sandyford luas station facilitating quick and easy access to Dublin city centre.

The centre employs a skilled management team, and care assistants as well as a full time activities Coordinator and all ancillary staff. Care staff are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are all capable of communicating through ISL (Irish sign language).

Of course, moving into a new residential community is a big change, so Touchstone offers flexible transition arrangements such as three-day, five-day or full seven-day stay. We also encourage residents to maintain their social and family life, creating a healthy balance with our support

The lifestyle in The Touchstone Centre is easy-going, relaxed and pleasant. At Touchstone we offer a wide range of on and off site activities.

Established links with Rehab Care and Step Enterprises. Computer room. Free wi-fi in all rooms. Sporting activities. Organised outings and holidays. Regular Deaf community involvement.

Interested? Hurry! There are only a small number of vacancies for young Deaf adults still available. For further information or to arrange a visit contact: Geraldine Gallagher, Director of Care, Tel : 086 389 6164 or email Linda Tierney, Care Manager, Tel: 087 057 8643 or email

Please download 'Touchstone house expression of interest form' in Word Document Download (size 20KB).

Please download 'TTC_Flyer_2012' in PDF Download (size 410~kB).

Although privately run Touchstone is funded by the HSE, and a written funding agreement from a potential resident’s local health office is required for admission. Residents are required to pay a weekly rent – currently €115 (based on a 7 night stay).

On behalf of our service, we would like to wish the team in Touchstone Centre all the best and look forward to seeing the service further develop. If you would like us to profile other agencies, please let us know as we hope to highlight services and supports that are available throughout Ireland every couple of months.
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13 February 2012 (VOL 10 WEEK 7)

Supported accommodation for deaf
There have been significant changes in Ireland for people with social, emotional, intellectual disability and mental health issues. We have seen a transition from institutional congregated settings to community housing. However, the needs of Deaf adults in supported accommodation still need to be overhauled. There is a clear lack of understanding and awareness of the needs of Deaf adults and in particular to sign language users. In a typical setting, staff are not Deaf, they do not have sign language skills and there are no policies in place to ensure Deaf residents are given equality of access. There is no specific funding available or policies to provide sign language interpreting access or Deaf advocacy services.

We were recently given a document entitled "NDA Briefing June 10th 2011- Deaf Adults in Need of Supported Accommodation: Policy, Practice and the need for Change". This appears to be written by Deafhear in June 2011. This highlights the need for an overhaul of current services and seeks a commitment from the Dept. of Health and Children to work towards the change required. It argues that current services need to be reconfigured and reconstituted to meet the needs of Deaf sign language users. They believe this would represent better value for money for the taxpayer and a better quality of life for many vulnerable Deaf people.

For those who receive this update via email - a copy is attached. For those who read this in other media, please contact us and we would be happy to email or post you a copy.

Please download 'NDA Briefing June 10th 2011' in Word Document Download (size 41KB).

National Specialist in Accessibility (HSE)
The Health Service Executive has appointed a National Specialist in Accessibility who will provide guidance, advice and strategic support in the promotion of access for people with disabilities. The purpose of the role is also to develop a strategic framework for the implementation of Part 3 of the Disability Act 2005 in the HSE.

The Specialist will develop a plan to achieve compliance with Part 3 of the Disability Act, specifically in relation to actions 25-44 of the Department of Health and Children’s Sectoral Plan. The post is based within the Advocacy Unit and works closely with the HSE National Disability Unit.

Over the coming months the HSE will develop a network of designated access officers in order to comply with Section 26 of the Disability Act 2005. Designated access officers will be located throughout the country. Further updates will be posted on this site regarding contact details of designated access officers once they have been assigned. For more information and further updates, go to

Non-compliane with Disability Act (HSE) - how to make a complaint?
Are you aware that you can make a formal complaint if you feel the HSE has failed to comply with Sections 25 to 29 (inclusive) of the Act?

If you feel you have grounds for making a complaint, please contact the following people:

Niall Kelly, Complaints Officer (Disability Services) email: Angela Kennedy, Complaints Officer (Disability Services) email:

Irish Deaf News (IDN)
The IDN continues to provide news updates in sign language. Their current edition is now available online. The information is being presented by Brian Crean and covers the following topics.

Sixteen year old girl shot dead in Dublin, Murder inquiry launched after Donegal shooting, Greece Bailout, Syria Uprisin and English Soccer news.

To view the clip, go to

Open day in St. Joseph's School for deaf boys
St. Joseph's School for Deaf Boys on the Navan Road, Cabra in Dublin will be hosting an Open Day on Friday 23rd March 2012 from 10am to 3pm. This event is open to family members and professionals.

The programme of events will include: Visits to the school, residences, the Deaf Village and the Deaf Heritage Centre. There will also be speakers on a range of topics such as St. Joseph's Today, St. Joseph's And Sport, Life at St. Joseph's (Open Discussion with Past Pupils) and The Deaf Village Project.

Lastly, there will be exhibits and stands and representatives from various organisations and groups. Refreshments afterwards.

Further information is available by tel: 01 838 0058, fax: 01 838 0230 and email at
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6 February 2012 (VOL 10 WEEK 6)

Monthly mass in sign language
Our next monthly mass in sign language will be held on the 12th of February at 3pm. As usual, it will be held in St. John's Pastoral Centre in Tralee. Veronica White from the NCDP will interpret the mass. Tea and coffee will be served after the mass and this will give everyone a chance to chat afterwards. If you require transport to the event, please let us know in advance.

GYM activities with ITT
Would you like to join us for gym activities for a few weeks? If so, we will have one-to-one gym activities with students from the Health & Leisure Dept of the Inst. of Technology starting on the 15th of February. The classes will be held in the ITT South Campus and the time slots are 4-5pm or 5-6pm. There will be no charge for these classes. If you are interested, please let us know immediately.

Changes to CE scheme and impact on Disability Allowance
There were major announcements made this week in relation to Community Employment (CE) schemes in Ireland. One of the changes may impact on people in receipt of Disability Allowance.

As of the 16th of January 2012, new participants on CE schemes will not be able to claim another social welfare payment at the same time. Existing participants will keep their social welfare payment until they are no longer eligible to participate in a CE scheme or they leave the scheme voluntarily. Otherwise they will keep it until December 2014, which is the final cut-off date for getting a concurrent social welfare payment.

As Disability Allowance is a means tested allowance, make sure you get full information from FAS on whether or not this payment will be cut if you accept a CE position. Further information is available via the Live Advisor service at

Recycling of batteries
Do you use hearing aid batteries or any other type of batteries? If so, you can bring them to our Centre once they are used and we will recycle them for you. We accept all types of batteries and we will recycle them in an environmentally friendly way.

NCSE report - education of deaf and hard of hearing children
A new policy advice paper on the Education of Deaf and hard of hearing children has been published by the National Council for Special Education. This is a very comprehensive report and well worth reading.

On they say according to the NCSE presentation the current challenges are:

How best to support deaf/hard of hearing children to learn language at an early age? How best to inform parents about communication and education options? What professional development should be provided for teachers? What supports should be in place in schools? What health and education services are needed for deaf/hard of hearing children?

The new policy paper confirms the need to provide early identification and intervention for deaf children; to provide for interaction with hearing peers; to facilitate CPD for teachers and to equip classrooms with technology. To read the report in full, go to

Deafhood workshops
If you couldn’t make it to the Deafhood workshops this month- there is good news more workshops will be run in March. They will be held in the Dublin Deaf Assoc. on weekends of 3rd/4th and 10th/11th of March.

The cost of the 4 days workshop is €150 and this is non refundable. These workshops have been highly popular and you will need to reserve a place and pay before the deadline on the 24th of Feb.

The organisers of the event are Lianne Quigley and Lorraine Creed and they will accept payment by cash, cheque, postal order or laser. Alternatively, you can send your payment to: The Irish Deaf Society, 30 Blessington Street, Dublin 7 (make sure to say the payment is for the Deafhood 7 workshops).

Further information is available by email at

Hands On - last programme of the series
Hands On, the programme of interest to those of us in the Deaf community came to an end for this series on Sunday. The programmes have been hugely informative and entertaining. We would like to thank the Production team for their hard work this series. We are grateful to them for mentioning our service a number of times during the series - thank you.

If you missed any of their recent programmes, go to and search for HANDS ON. Look forward to seeing the new series later in the year.
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