Just to inform you our service has re-opened after our annual summer leave.
We look forward to working with our clients again and hope none of you were
inconvenienced by this closure.

Fr. Stephen Monaghan who worked with the Deaf Community in Ireland for many
years is organising a volunteer trip to Ethiopia in October. Veronica White
and Willie White from our service will be part of the team travelling there.
In addition, four Deaf people from different parts of Ireland will
participate in the trip.

Fr. Monaghan is involved with the Vincentian Lay Missionaries (VLM). The
Vincentians in Ambo want to develop a specific project for the Deaf in the
area, however funding has been an issue. Over the last couple of years two
secondary schools from Dublin have been visiting Ambo and teaching English
to the local children. They have decided to take on fundraising for a Deaf
project and have been very successful to date.

It is hoped that an application will be submitted to the Irish Government
organisation Misean Cara for significant funding to develop a Deaf
Centre/School Support/Training Facility for the Deaf in Ambo.

The aim of the Centre will be to:
Ensure that the Centre is based on their real needs of the Deaf in Ambo.
To look at the structures that are necessary to develop a properly
functioning Deaf Centre/Association.
To work with the Deaf community in Ambo in exploring issues of Deaf Culture,
Communication, Identity etc.
To look at the issue of Child Protection and the additional risks people
with disabilities face.
To be a friendly and supportive group who want to encourage the Deaf in Ambo
realise their potential.

It is hoped that the Centre would open up vocational opportunities for the
Deaf, that there would be a skills development component and some income
generating activities. One of the most important aspects of the Centre is
that it becomes a space where the
Deaf Community can meet and socialise, organise themselves as a community,
improve their sense of esteem and grow in confidence.

Deaf people in Ethiopia have to overcome a great deal of stereotyping and
negative attitudes, which often times are internalised and lead to a very
poor self-image. It is hoped that a good quality Centre with good facilities
will assist in overcoming some of these issues.

The Irish volunteers would appreciate any financial support you can offer
with their upcoming trip. Donations can be sent to our Centre. We would like
to wish Fr. Monaghan and all the volunteers the very best with their work in

A set of guidelines for Interpreting Services has been produced by the HSE
Social Inclusion Unit (Office of the CEO) and the Health Promoting Hospitals
Network – National Intercultural Hospital Initiative. This could make a
significant impact on how Deaf people access the Health Service Executive in

In the document, it states, “These guidelines have been produced for
healthcare professionals to support good practice in the provision of
interpreting services. Everyone working with patients who have difficulty in
communication, due to limited English proficiency or hearing disabilities
will appreciate the importance of interpreting support in the delivery of
health care to such patients.

Principles of equity, accessibility and person-centredness are central to
the HSE and act as an important driver to the effective and efficient
delivery of services. The provision of interpreting services forms a small
but essential element of addressing the HSE’s stated 6 priorities within its
Transformation programme.

The guidelines provide clear, precise and straightforward advice for staff
in accessing and working successfully with trained interpreters.

The overall aim of these guidelines is to enable good communication between
healthcare staff and patients by offering guidance on:
1. Assessing the language needs of patients
2. Letting patients know that they can have access to an interpreter
3. Arranging interpreting services (face to face and telephone)
4. Working effectively with interpreters
5. Good practice in interpreting

In the “definitions” section- it says “Irish Sign language, or ISL, is the
indigenous language of the Deaf community. It is a visual, spatial language
with its own distinct grammar. Not only is it a language of the hands, but
also of the face and body (Irish Deaf Society)

Within the section “Different types of interpreting” it looks at
face-to-face interpreting and includes interpreting for “Deaf patients”.

Further in the document, it also states, “Note that when you are using a
sign language interpreter, the patient will be looking at the signs made by
the interpreter. You should still look at the patient when talking to
him/her and not at the interpreter. Ensure adequate lighting. The
interpreter and the staff member should sit opposite the patient.

It is great to see these guidelines in place. Let’s hope it is implemented
across the HSE. If you would like to read the full document, go to the
following weblink

Kerry Deaf Resource Centre
4 Gas Tce, Tralee

Mobile (text): 087 633 4687
E-mail: [email protected]

Fax: 066 712 0386
Tel: 066 712 0399