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Kerryman local news  

29 February 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 9)

KDRC Manager travelling to Ethiopia in August.
Our Manager Willie White will be travelling to Ethiopia on a volunteer basis or 3 weeks in August 2016. The aim of the trip is to provide workshops and training to Deaf adults and children who communicate through Ethiopian Sign Language. These workshops will also be open to their hearing relatives, friends and supporters.

As you may know, Willie is also a trained and qualified sign language interpreter. In the Deaf world, he is known as a CODA (Children Of Deaf Adults) as his parents were Deaf. This is where his interest in working with the Deaf community comes from.

This will be his 4th volunteer trip to Africa. His 1st trip was with an Irish charity in 2008 that built houses in Khayelitsha Township in South Africa.

In 2010 and 2014, he volunteered with an Irish charity that we have supported since it was established called the Ethiopia Deaf Project (EDP). The aim of this project was to build a Deaf school in a town called Ambo in Ethiopia. The school has since been built and employs two Deaf teachers and continues to see an increase in deaf students every year.

This trip will be split between two projects that work in 3 different parts of Ethiopia: Ambo, Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar.

In Ambo, Willie will:
  • Visit the Ambo Lazarist Deaf School for approx 4-5 days.
  • Work in conjunction with Deaf teachers in the school.
  • Provide a range of workshops to deaf students in Grade 1-4 and Grade 5-8.
  • Provide workshops and information to family members and hearing supporters
  • Workshops will include Deaf empowerment, Ethiopian Sign Language, Computer Tuition, Arts and Crafts and and Sporting activities.
  • Visit the Ambo Deaf Association
  • Meet with the wider Deaf community in Ambo.
  • Participate in group evaluations and carry out needs assessments.
During the 2nd part of the trip, Willie will work for the 1st time with Visions Global Empowerment in projects with the Deaf community in Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar.

In Addis Ababa, they will:
  • Provide a day training program at the Sebstie Negassi School.
In Bahir Dar:
  • New volunteers with Visions will get an introduction to Ethiopian Sign Language by local Deaf teachers and volunteers.
  • Volunteers will work with local partners and teachers.
  • Visit a Deaf Resource Room and new classroom at Yekatit 23 School.
  • Work alongside local teachers with classroom activities for Deaf children (Grades 1 - 4).
  • Provide activities for Deaf children in hearing integrated classrooms at the school (Grades 5-8).
  • Visit a new Visions Model Regional Deafness Centre:
  • Provide 1-day training workshops at the Centre for deaf preschool children (ages 3-6) and Deaf students (ages 6-17).
  • In addition, provide a 1-day leadership training workshop for approx. 35 Deaf young adults (ages 15-30).
  • Site visits and workshops for students at 2 other Bahir Dar schools with classes for Deaf students (Tsehay Gibot and Donna Berber Schools).
  • Site visit to Visions' sponsored livelihood projects benefiting young Deaf adults.
  • Participate in an Exchange program with Bahir Dar University and/or Felege Hiwot Hospital.
Throughout their time in Ethiopia; Willie, tutors, volunteers along with Deaf and hearing participants will take part in group evaluations, needs assessments, review and record benefits of the trip and hold discussions on future plans.

If you would like to make a donation to this trip, you can drop donations into our Centre or online at

Ethiopia Deaf Project (EDP) Upcoming Events.
On Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th of June, The Ethiopia Deaf Project is holding a great weekend of fun.

Saturday 24th of June, they will be having a Soccer match Deaf against hearing, followed by a cuppa and a sandwich.

After this they will have Mass celebrated in sign language by Fr Gerard and Fr Stephen Monaghan. They are delighted to have the Dublin Singing choir performing at the mass too. A number of children will also be will be signing the prayers and it promises to be a lovely event.

Afterwards, they will head to the local pub for a chat and a few drinks. They will be having entertainment in the pub for the children also.

Ambo Ramble Charity Cycle (EDP).
Sunday 25th of June, they will have the Ambo Ramble cycle. This is a 126km and a 40km cycle starting in Ballinhassig Co Cork. This is a great sporting event and fun too. After the cycle there will be showers, hot food and beautiful cakes. The cost of the cycle is €30 but the organisers have sponsorship cards and if you raise €50 you cycle for free.

No bike? No problem. Bikes can be hired from The Bike Shed in Cork for €10.

Once again, when this is finished, everyone will head across the road to the pub for a get to together, a chat and a bit of craic (fun). There will be burgers served later in the night. Please like the event page to keep update on all the news regarding the weekend of events.

Accommodation: the organisers have spoken to the Travelodge in Cork and they will give the first 30 rooms at the special rate of €109 on the Saturday and €52 on the Sunday. This price is per room. The room can hold 3 people. You must mention the Ethiopia Deaf Project when booking.

Finally just so you know what it's all for? Here is a 30sec video of the opening of Grade 8. While its short and very sweet, it shows the opening of the new classroom in Ambo where all the money raised from last year's cycle went.

The 2nd clip is the new grade 1 classroom in use. For two children it's actually their first day ever in school! The younger ones as you can imagine are learning signs for the first time. The teacher is Ashenafi who the EDP helped to sponsor through his studies in university. He is from Ambo and now teaches there! ENJOY.
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22 February 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 8)

Volunteers for Currans and Currow Church Collections.
Our service is looking for volunteers to support us with a number of Church collections on the 5th and 6th of March.

The collections will take place in Currow and Curran Churches. If you are available, please contact Noreen Cronin in our office. She will provide you with the times that volunteers are required for each Church.

The income generated from these collections contributes to overhead costs of running our Centre in Tralee and towards our outreach service for elderly clients with mobility and travel difficulties.

Sign Language Interpreting Students on placement in March.
This year our Centre is delighted to host three students from the Centre for Deaf Studies from the 7th-11th of March.

The students will be here on placement as part of their Sign Language Interpreting course in Trinity College. Our thanks to our Manager William White who will act as placement mentor/supervisor.

Placement is a wonderful opportunity for students to communicate with Deaf people they may not have come into contact before and experience regional sign language variation too. It is also an ideal opportunity for students to learn from service providers outside of formal college settings. Placement also enables students to learn 1st hand the types of services and access Deaf people require in a regional setting.

If you would like to meet with these students, please let us know, as we are keen to ensure there are ample opportunities for them to meet the Deaf community in Co. Kerry.

Student research on Deaf going for X-Rays.
Aoibhinn Hynes is a radiography student in her final year in University College Dublin. She is looking for Deaf people to take part in research that looks at their experience of having x-rays.

The overall aim of her research is to gain a better understanding of the experiences a Deaf or hard of hearing patient has when going for an X-ray examination and how hospitals in Ireland could potentially improve their experiences?

Her research is titled "The experiences of the Deaf or hard of hearing patient in the Diagnostic Imaging Department". In order to carry out her research, she hopes to conduct interviews and brief online questionnaires.

As this is an undergraduate study, it is not funded. However, Aoibhinn would greatly appreciate any queries or potential volunteers. If you are interested in her research, send us your details and we will forward them on to Aoibhinn.

Irish Deaf Women's Group AGM.
The Irish Deaf Women's Group (IDWG) will hold its 23rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, the 5th of March.

The AGM will take place in Cabragh Hall in Deaf Village Ireland (DVI) in Dublin from 11am - 2pm. The AGM is open to 'Women Only'. Tea and coffee will be served.

Irish Deaf Society AGM.
The Irish Deaf Society (IDS) has also announced their 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will take place on Saturday, the 9th of April.

It will be held in the Deaf Heritage Centre, Deaf Village Ireland (DVI) in Dublin at 2pm.

The AGM will provide the following: Minutes of the 2015 AGM, Annual Report, Financial Report, Motions and Elections. IDS Members 2016 and non-members are welcome to attend the AGM.

There will also be a drama held afterwards which is being organised by the Dublin Deaf Theatre.
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15 February 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 7)

Upcoming General Elections In Ireland
The next general election in Ireland will take place on Friday, 26th of February. Over the coming weeks, candidates will be appearing on TV, in the media and calling house to house to get your vote.

The Irish Deaf Society (IDS) is looking for your support. They have produced a 2016 General Election Manifesto that they would like you to give to your local candidates. A copy of the manifesto is below.

To see this information in sign language, go to:

Irish Deaf Society 2016 General Election Manifesto.
There is clear and unambiguous evidence that Deaf Irish Sign Language users do not enjoy substantive equality with hearing people within Irish society. Deaf ISL users are more likely to be unemployed, to experience frustration in accessing vital services, to be denied full access to healthcare services and to drop out of college and training courses.

Proposals for the incoming government.

Irish Sign Language Act The incoming government should support the Irish Sign Language Bill. If passed, the Irish Sign Language Act shall recognise Irish Sign Language (ISL) as the first and preferred language of the Irish Deaf community, and the foremost linguistic and cultural resource belonging to that community. The Act would grant ISL users linguistic rights to access services in their first language.

Ratify UN Convention on Rights for People With Disabilities The incoming government should ratify and implement the UN Convention withimmediate effect. This is of considerable importance given the five clauses within the Convention, which refer to sign languages, Irish Sign Language being the indigenous sign language in Ireland.

Timely implementation of five most urgent priorities On 24 November 2013, Minister of State for Justice, Law Reform and Equality, Kathleen Lynch TD, asked representatives of the Deaf community to identify the five most pressing policy issues of concern to Deaf ISL users. We believe that attention to these key policy issues would benefit the Deaf community enormously, and actions within each area could be implemented immediately. However, to date, no government actions within these five priority areas have been implemented. The priority areas are:
  • Congregated Settings for residential homes The changes in the policy militate against Deaf residents who want to stay together for linguistic and cultural reasons
  • Procurement of Government Services
    • Irish Sign Language Awareness - awareness training for public bodies to be provided
    • Website Translation - information on websites of public bodies in relation to essential services to be translated into ISL
    • Relay Services - rapid overhaul and redevelopment of telephone relay service and rollout of services nationwide
  • Interpreting Hours Voucher Allocation System
    Including Access to Work - costs of interpreting should be met by the Exchequer, in order to reduce the costs to businesses of employing Deaf people and improving Deaf employee retention
  • Quality Monitoring and Accreditation of Sign Language Interpreters
  • Irish Sign Language Access for Deaf Children in school.
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8 February 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 6)

Collection in Manor West Shopping Centre Tralee.
On Friday, the 12th of February, we will have a fundraising collection in Manor West Shopping Centre in Tralee. If you are willing to volunteer for this day, please contact our Centre. We have a number of timeslots available and would really appreciate your support. Income raised from this day will go directly towards running costs of the Centre.

Our sincere thanks to Manor West Shopping Centre for allowing our Centre fundraise in the Centre this week.

Volunteers for Street and Church Collections.
Throughout 2016, we will have a number of Street and Church Collections in various locations in Co. Kerry. The income raised from these collections also goes towards the overhead costs of running our Drop-In-Centre in Tralee.

If you are in the position to volunteer for any of these fundraising events, please send your name to Therese Gallant by text to 087 633 4687 or via email:

VIS - Video Interpreting Service/ Video Information Service.
Our new VIS service is now being expanded to include a Video Information Service.

VIS now has two options:

  • Video Interpreting Service: Sign language interpreters can be booked online to interpret remotely via video-messaging software such as Skype/Facetime/Google Hangouts.
  • Video Information Service: This allows sign language users to contact us via webcam technology if they have queries they want answered in sign language?
To access the VIS service, you can text us on 087 633 4687 or by email and we will give you an appointment to chat in sign language to our Manager, Willie White.

To date, the most popular option for VIS calls/queries has been via Skype and FaceTime. You can also leave us a video message in sign language via Glide.
  • Skype username kerrydeaf
  • FaceTime 087 633 4687 or
  • Glide username OQC BSYB
Successful workshop for Munster interpreters.
On Saturday, our service hosted a workshop for Sign Language Interpreters Munster (SLIM). The workshop explored Access Consciousness and Qigong

Geraldine Woesssner who has been teaching and inspiring others to reach their fullest potential for 15 years presented the workshop. With a background in Mindfulness, Tai Chi and Energy work she combines these skills with the tools of Access Consciousness to craft a truly holistic way of facilitating people to recognise, and acknowledge their skills and abilities and enhance their personal and professional life.

The Qigong aspect of the course looked at the holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, Our thanks to Geraldine and SLIM members for a great workshop.

VLM African run-Ireland.
The Vincentian Lay Missionaries (VLM), which supports the ALDS Deaf School in Ambo, Ethiopia, is organising a Fun Run Fundraiser with the proceeds going towards their work in Africa. February 27th @ 12 noon, St. Anne's Park, Raheny, Dublin 1

VLM is a small voluntary organisation that operates out of St. Peter's Parish Office in Phibsborough, Dublin 7. Since 2002 they have been working with partners in Ethiopia in the areas of education and professional skills training.

To register for the event, go to can-run-ireland-2016.

Manager working with Deaf Community in Ethiopia in August.
Our Manager Willie White has been invited to join Visions Global Empowerment, an international NGO (Non-Government Organisation) on a trip to Ethiopia in August.

While in Ethiopia, Visions will work with a number of Deaf schools in Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar. Willie will also work independently with the ALDS Deaf School in Ambo that we have supported for a number of years.

This is a great honour and a fantastic opportunity for Willie. We wish him and Visions all the best with their work there. We are sure the Deaf community will benefit greatly from their work with them.
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1 February 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 5)

Sign Language Interpreting Access Doctor Appointments.

In a previous newsletter, we gave information on how a sign language interpreter can be booked in Co. Kerry for Doctor/GP & Kerry General Hospital appointments.

Since then we have had a number of enquiries as to how an interpreter can be booked in other counties in Ireland.

We emailed the HSE who put us in touch with Margaret in SLIS- the Sign Language Interpreting Service based in Dublin.

Margaret has given us the following information:

  • For the first appointment, the Medical Practice sends a letter/email to the HSE General Manager, giving the details of the Deaf client (Name, Address, Medical/GP Card no) & request for an interpreter
  • The HSE approves the funding of the interpreter.
  • The Medical Practice books the interpreter directly or through an interpreting agency.
  • The HSE are the billing address for the interpreter/agency.
Margaret also gave us a Memorandum from John Hennessy, National Director, Primary Care HSE. This follows on from a memo from Laverne McGuinness, Chief Operating Officer issued on 13th June 2013 regarding Access to Qualified Sign Language Interpreters in Hospital and Primary Care Settings.

John's memo provided clarification regarding the provision of Sign Language Interpreters for medical card holders attending their GP. John stated "The Disability Act 2005 and the Equal Status Act 2004 place a legal duty on health and social care providers to ensure that services provided are accessible and make provision for a person's disability. This includes the provision of a qualified sign language interpreter".

The engagement of an interpreter is considered an integral part of the service being provided, not only to comply with our legislative responsibility, but also because failure to make appropriate provision for a person's communication difficulty may result in avoidable serious risks and errors for both the service user and health care provider.

Interpreting services are essential to assist GPs gather the relevant information in order to make the correct diagnosis and in the process of gaining informed consent.

As a medical card is provided in cases of financial hardship, service users are not in a position to pay for an interpreter themselves. There is currently no provision made for GPs to pay for an interpreter under their GMS contract. We are working with the National Advocacy Unit to develop a national policy, which will provide detailed guidance for services.

However, this matter requires urgent action, as there have been an increased number of incidences reported in relation to the refusal to provide Sign Language interpreters in GP settings. It is essential that provision is made to ensure that service users can access GPs with the assistance of a qualified interpreter in a timely manner.

Pending completion of the national guidance, please be advised that where a medical card holder whose primary language is Sign Language is attending a GP appointment, the GP may arrange for a qualified Sign Language Interpreter to attend the appointment.

The cost of this appointment should be borne by the Area Manager's Office and invoices should be directed accordingly. In this regard, GPs with a GMS contract will be notified of these interim arrangements.

Costs borne in this regard should be noted in order to inform further planning around development of a model for provision of interpreting services.

Please bring this advice and the enclosed memo to the attention of all relevant staff within your remit. Yours sincerely, John Hennessy, National Director, Primary Care, Office of the National Director Primary Care, Health Service Executive, Dr Steevens Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin 8.

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