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Kerryman local news  

26 September 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 39)

Successful ISL Awareness Week.
We would like to thank everyone who made 'Irish Sign Language Awareness Week' a great success. In particular, we would like to thank everyone who organised and supported activities here in Co. Kerry.

Events in Co. Kerry for ISL Awareness Week.
A special word of thanks to Bernadette O'Connor and the Kerry Deaf Group (KDG) and the Kerry Deaf Women's Group (KDWG) for all their hard work last week. Bernadette organised a successful Coffee Morning in The Brogue Inn and a Deaf Awareness session in Tralee Library.

Our service was delighted to be invited to participate at both events. In addition, Bernadette invited our service and DeafHear Killarney to participate in an interview with our local newspaper Kerry's Eye. Lastly, Bernadette also gave an interview on Kerry Radio to highlight 'International Week of the Deaf'.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who turned up at the events and to Catherine White who acted as interpreter in The Library and on the interview with Radio Kerry.

Update On Equipment Grant.
We are delighted to finally confirm that funding for equipment has been allocated for our service and DeafHear Killarney. For reasons outside of our control, funding was delayed and our service took the decision not to accept any further applications for equipment until funding was secured.

The funding allocated for this year is approx. €7,000 per organisations. We are in the process of reviewing applications and hope to order equipment within the week. Our sincere thanks to the new Disability Manager in the HSE for all her support in securing the funding for both organisations.

National Cochlear Implant Event for Adults With CI (Or on waiting list).
DeafHear will host a national Cochlear Implant Event for adults with (or on waiting list for) cochlear implants on the 21st of October in The Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise.

The conference will run from 9.15am until 5 pm. The will give attendees the opportunity to hear about services, supports and latest technology from:
  • Beaumont CI Team
  • DeafHear staff
  • Hearing family member
  • Irish Tinnitus Association (ITA)
  • Cochlear Implant companies: MED-EL / COCHLEAR / ADVANCED BIONICS.
Our cochlear is the size of a 10cent coin!

Programme includes: When hearing aids are not enough. Impact of profound hearing loss on individuals, families and work colleagues. Available support services for adults with CIs. Discussion and feedback from groups 'Expectations and Rehabilitation'. Time allocated to visit each CI company, ITA &and DeafHear information stands. Link with other participants. Panel discussion: Your questions answered. Completion of feedback form.

Cost: €20 per person attending - includes Information pack; tea/coffee and pastries on arrival, x2 tea breaks and a hot lunch. To book or for further information, contact: Sally Harvest Community Resource Worker Mobile: 086 246 4640 Email: and Jo Lambe Community Resource Worker Mobile: 087 272 3862 Email:
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19 September 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 38)

International Week of the Deaf - Deaf Awareness Event in Tralee
Bernadette O' Connor from the Kerry Deaf Group (KDG) and the Kerry Deaf Women's Group (KDWG) would like to invite you to a Deaf Awareness event this week. This information session is part of International Week of the Deaf.

Bernadette says "Why not come along and join us at Tralee Library. Thursday 22nd of September 2016. 7 - 8pm. Learn a little about the Deaf Community and Irish Sign Language. All are welcome"

Bernadette has kindly invited our service and Deafhear to give a short presentation on the services we provide to Deaf and hard of hearing in Co. Kerry. We look forward to meeting you all at the event.

IDS Press Release - ISL Awareness Week 'With Sign Language, I Am Equal'
The Irish Deaf Society will host Irish Sign Language (ISL) Awareness Week which takes place from Monday 19th to Sunday 25th of September 2016.

The aim of this week is to promote awareness of ISL and the Deaf community in Ireland while contributing to a global celebration of Deaf communities and sign languages worldwide. The week also seeks to highlight the ways in which systemic suppression and denial of ISL in educational, legal and social contexts can have a profound effect on the lives of Deaf individuals and the community.

ISL is Ireland's native sign language and is used by up to 40,000 people. It possesses its own structure and syntax distinct from spoken and written English. ISL is at the core of the identity of the Irish Deaf community and embodies the political, social and cultural elements of this minority group.

Finian McGrath TD, Minister of State at the Departments of Social Protection, Justice, Equality and Health with special responsibility for Disability Issues will officially launch ISL Awareness Week at Buswells Hotel on Monday 19th September at 2.30pm.

The weeklong celebration will play host to many different events organised by Deaf communities across the country including ISL classes and information points, social gatherings, a conference, a public demonstration in Dublin city and an ISL Flash Mob in Cork.

The World Federation of the Deaf is coordinating the simultaneous global campaign for this International Week of the Deaf under the theme 'With Sign Language, I am Equal'. This theme acknowledges the 10 Year Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which Ireland has signed, but remains the very last EU member state to ratify it.

Along with the UNCRPD, official recognition of ISL remains a high priority for the IDS, as its current status allows a lack of legal protection for Deaf people which puts them at a disadvantage and vulnerable to marginalisation. As IDS CEO Eddie Redmond puts it, "Until ISL is recognised by the state, Deaf people remain second class citizens with many public services being completely inaccessible for ISL users." He emphasised, "There isn't a legal obligation to provide many essential services and information in ISL, which can often be a Deaf person's only accessible language, so they fall through the cracks".

A Bill for the Recognition of ISL was re-introduced to the Seanad by Senator Mark Daly in July and is expected to reach the Second Stage after the summer recess in time for ISL Awareness Week.

Press interviews can be organised by contacting or 01 8601878. For more information on Irish Sign Language Awareness Week, go to or email contact: You can also search online by using the following hashtag #ISL4all
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12 September 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 37)

Kerry Deaf Group - Coffee Morning
The Kerry Deaf Group (KDG) will host a Coffee Morning next Tuesday, the 20th of September. It will be held in The Brogue Inn, Rock Stree, Tralee at 11am. The coffee morning is open to everyone. The Coffee Morning is one of the many events being organised throughout Ireland to mark Irish Sign Language (ISL) Awareness Week "With Sign Language I am Equal" (19th - 25th of September). We would like to send our best wishes to KDG and hope the Coffee Morning is a great success.

ISL Week

Irish Sign Language (ISL) Awareness Week
Irish Sign Language (ISL) Awareness Week is hosted by the Irish Deaf Society (IDS). It takes place from Monday 19th to Sunday 25th of September 2016. The aim of this week is to promote awareness of ISL and the Deaf community in Ireland while contributing to a global celebration of Deaf communities and sign languages worldwide.

The week also seeks to highlight the ways in which systemic suppression and denial of ISL in educational, legal and social contexts can have a profound effect on the lives of Deaf individuals and the community.

Deaf Education conference
Just a reminder of the Deaf Education conference that is taking place on the 1st of October in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel.

This conference is looking at education for Deaf and hard of hearing children. A number of international presenters including the former President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) Markku Jokinen will be attending. Sign language interpreting access will also be provided.

The Conference will include Irish and international experts on Deaf education who will speak about:
  • Best practice in the education of Deaf and hard of hearing children.
  • What can be achieved through best practice?
  • What is happening in Ireland today?
More info: email The cost to attend the conference is €15.

DIY (Do It Yourself) Workshop With John Duggan and Brian Crean


Cork Deaf 50th Anniversary
As part of Cork Deaf Association's 50th Anniversary celebrations, they will be hosting a Black Tie Gala Dinner on Saturday, the 15th of October at 6.30pm. It will be held in The Metropole Hotel, Mac Curtain Street, Cork City. Tickets are now on sale. It costs €40 for a Prosecco Reception, Dinner and Disco. If you prefer to attend the disco only after 10pm, its costs €10.

A photographic exhibition and raffle will take place on the night. For Gentlemen who need to hire a Tuxedo for the night, you can hire a suit from Pat Morley's on Grand Parade in Cork for a special rate of €45.

To reserve your Black Tie Gala tickets, contact the Cork Deaf Association. Email:, Fax: 021 4506 190 Tel: 021 4505 944, and

Sign Language Classes In Killarney
Killarney Community College are hoping to run a Sign Language Class as part of their Adult Education Programme.

This programme is suitable for individuals who wish to develop skills in Irish Sign Language for effective communication with Deaf and hard of hearing relatives, employees and customers in a variety of situations.

The course equips students with enough sign language skills to introduce themselves and conduct a basic conversation with another sign language user: communicate in a social setting, give personal information in response to questions, show understanding and express simple passages in Irish Sign Language (ISL).

The course will run on Tuesdays for 9 weeks from 7:30p.m. - 9:30p.m. The cost for the course is €110.

To enrol, learners must call to school office in Killarney Community College or email:
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5 September 2016 (VOL 12 WEEK 36)

Re-Opened After Annual Leave
Our service re-opened on the 1st of September after our annual leave holidays. If you would like to meet with any of our staff members, please feel free to contact us for an appointment. Our opening hours to the public are Monday-Thursday 10am to 1pm and 2 to 5pm and on Friday from 10am to 1pm.

Update On Trip To Ethiopia
While, our service was closed for annual leave, our Manager, William White headed to Ethiopia to work with a number of Deaf related projects. Here is an update from Willie.

On the 8th of August, I flew to Ethiopia for the 3rd time to work on a number of Deaf related projects there.

Sadly, on arrival into Addis Ababa, I was informed that it was not safe to travel to my 1st destination to a town called Ambo. Over the past couple of months, there have been a number of protests in different regions in Ethiopia and sadly some of these protests have turned violent. It was reported in local media that seven people were killed by soldiers in and around Ambo just before I arrived into Ethiopia.

Thankfully, the Daughters of Charity in Addis Ababa organised for me to volunteer with them in a nearby disadvantaged school for hearing children. I joined a number of other Irish volunteers and we provided basic English tuition to the children. During one of these classes, I mentioned that I knew some Ethiopian sign language. This sparked an interest in the children and before we knew it, all the classes wanted to learn some sign language too. On my last day there, a Deaf colleague Yanit Girma arrived back safely to Addis Ababa and she joined me for the day and together we taught approximately 100 hearing children sign language.

On the 12th of August, I joined a US based non-Governmental organisation called 'Visions Global Empowerment' on a Deaf project in Bahir Dar, approx. 1-hour flight from the capital. Sadly, a few days before we arrived there, violence also erupted there and it was reported that approx. 30 people were killed.

Thankfully, peace was restored and we got to spend the next 10 days working with the KAL Deaf Resource Centre in Bahir Dar and at a local school 'Yekatit 23' that had a large number of deaf students.

While, we were in Bahir Dar, I teamed with an American volunteer, Jacqueline Eugster and we provided a 2-day workshop on the linguistics of sign language. In addition, we provided workshops to two groups of parents of deaf children. We also worked with deaf students and video recorded clips of the Ethiopian sign language alphabet, numbers and basic phrases to enable hearing people communicate with local Deaf. We also worked with local Deaf professionals and recorded a video that gives an insight into the work of Visions and the KAL Centre. These clips will be used a resource for the Centre and in time will be uploaded to the internet so people can learn Ethiopian sign language online and learn about the work of the Centre. Lastly, we also had the opportunity to visit a number of livelihood projects that are supported by Visions. We were also treated to a performance by a Deaf Youth Circus which included jugglers, acrobatics and Ethiopian cultural dance. To learn more about Visions Global Empowerment, go to To learn more about the KAL Deaf Resource Centre, go to

On the 22nd of August, I returned to Addis Ababa and we were delighted to hear that peace was also restored in Ambo. On the 23rd, Yanit Girma and I travelled to Ambo and we worked with teachers and students in the Ambo Lazarist School for the Deaf which is supported by the 'Ethiopia Deaf Project' and the 'Vincentian Lay Missionaries'.

The students which comprised of adults and children were keen to learn basic English reading and writing skills. They also expressed an interest to learn Irish sign language.

During our time in Ambo, each student also received 2-3 items of clothing and personal toiletries that were donated to me from friends, family and colleagues in Ireland. In addition, each participant was given 50 birr per day towards the cost of transport and food for attending the workshops. I was also in a position to pay the two teachers that I was fortunate to work with in Ambo. All other costs such as Yanit's transport and accommodation were covered so that no costs were incurred by local people on the ground in Ambo.

My sincere thanks to everyone in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar and Ambo, I could not have done the work without their incredible guidance and support. I also appreciate everything they taught me too". On behalf of all those who benefitted from this trip, I would like to say a sincere thank you to everyone who supported this trip.

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