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Kerryman local news  

25 January 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 4)

Irish Sign Language (ISL) Recognition Campaign.
This weeks update will focus on the campaign to get Irish Sign Language (ISL) officially recognised as a language by the Irish Government.

This campaign has been ongoing for a number of years and has been supported nationally by the Irish Deaf Society (IDS).

The information below is from the IDS website. Our sincere thanks & appreciation to the IDS for allowing us to share this information on our own website too at

To see this information in Irish Sign Language (ISL). gnition-campaign.

Irish Sign Language is not yet recognised in Ireland. The Irish Deaf Society has been campaigning for more than thirty years to get it recognised to ensure equality for Deaf people in Irish Society.

Achieving recognition of ISL and official status would allow access for Deaf people to their full participation as citizens of their own country.

The current situation in Ireland is that:

  • No Deaf child can fully learn Irish Sign Language as not all teachers would be fluent or qualified in ISL.
  • There is no automatic right for Deaf people to have an ISL interpreter (excluding criminal court proceedings).
  • Service providers such as Government bodies are not obligated to respect.
  • Irish Sign Language - they will translate information into English and Irish but rarely ISL.
  • The IDS has to lobby for information translated into Irish Sign Language.
  • There is only little accessible ISL on our TV screens (usually in the early hours of morning).
  • Irish Sign Language is considered a 'support service' as evident in the Education Act of 1998 (the only legislation that mentions ISL) and does not recognise it as a language in its own right.
  • The UN convention on the rights of people with Disabilities (UNCRPD) mentions signed languages in its five articles. Ireland has not yet ratified it.
If we get Irish Sign Language recognition, this will ensure us:
  • More legal rights for ISL users.
  • Better access to public services.
  • Better education for Deaf children.
  • Better third level education and training for Deaf adults.
  • Better interpreting quality and monitoring - avoid cowboy interpreters.
The IDS has established a cross-community group focusing on ISL recognition in September 2012. The meetings take quarterly to work together to toward the ISL recognition. The current group members are:
  • Irish Deaf Society.
  • Catholic Institute of Deaf people.
  • Deaf Sports Ireland.
  • Bridge Interpreting.
  • Irish Deaf Youth Association.
  • Sign Language Interpreter Services.
  • Irish Deaf Women Group.
  • Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters.
  • Greenbow LGBT.
  • Centre of Deaf Studies.
The momentum for ISL recognition continues to grow, with many Local Authorities having passed motions over the few years calling upon the Government to legally recognise ISL as a matter of urgency.

Working toward ISL recognition, the IDS recognition campaign team continues to work with politicians and lawmakers.

The IDS recognition campaign team is more than happy to give a presentation about the ISL recognition campaign. Please contact us by email:

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18 January 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 3)

New donation page for our service.
Over the years many customers & supporters have asked how they can make donations to our service. We are delighted to announce that we now have a new online donation page at

We hope this page will enable us to meet the shortfall in funding & enable us to continue meeting the running costs of our Drop In Centre in Tralee and our outreach service throughout Kerry.

Update on video interpreting service (VIS).
We are now accepting VIS bookings from across Ireland for interpreting access in Irish Sign Language (ISL) & British Sign Language (BSL).

We will accept VIS calls on the following: Skype, FaceTime, Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Oovoo & other video interpreting software. We are also working with an international service provider to develop a VIS app to ensure the service is available across all digital medial platforms.

Catherine White & Veronica White, both qualified freelance sign language interpreters are available on an appointment basis with our VIS. For enquiries of a short nature, our Manager Willie White is also available.

Catherine will be available for both BSL & ISL bookings. Veronica & Willie will be available for ISL bookings.

VIS appointments with Government Depts and Public Bodies must be made in advance, as our service will need to contact the service provider in advance to approve payment.

Please note: for all calls, we will set up a 'Test Call' with you to make sure the video quality is suitable as internet speeds can vary.

Sign language interpreters available on a freelance basis.
Veronica White & Catherine White are also available for standard freelance interpreting work outside of VIS in Co. Kerry. They are also available for freelance work in other counties.

For GP/Doctor/Kerry General Hospital appointments, they can be contacted directly or via our service. Please note: For GP/Doctor appointments, please remember our service must submit an email to the HSE to get the costs of the interpreter approved in advance of the appointment. Further information on our GP Access Policy can be found on our website at

For all other appointments, Catherine & Veronica can be booked via a number of interpreting services such as Bridge Interpreting & SLIS. Further information on sign language interpreting services are available on our website at

Healthy living and stress management course.
Deafhear Killarney would like to remind everyone that their Healthy Living and Stress Management Course will continue again this year.

The first session will be on Thursday 21st January in St Bridget's Family Resource Centre in Hawley Park, Tralee at 1.30 pm. Sign language interpreting access will be provided again this year. If you require transport, please contact Deafhear or our service.

We would like to thank Deafhear for opening up this valuable training again to service users from our Centre.

Subtitled Movies in Tralee cinema.
Tralee Omniplex Cinema has contacted us to confirm that subtitled movies will be shown every Monday evening this year. The cinema is keen to ensure access is provided to the Deaf and hard of hearing community in Co. Kerry.

Recently due to difficulties outside of their control, they were unable to screen a number of movies with subtitles. They have assured us they will do everything to prevent this happening again. If you arrive for a subtitled movie and there is a technical difficulty, they would appreciate it if you could inform a staff member or their Manager.

To see which movie is subtitled, check their listings in local newspapers. You can also go to their website then click on the DATE (for Monday's), click FILTER BY SCREEN TYPE & select SUBTITLED.

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