Kerry Deaf Resource Centre Update 14.03.11

We have a number of street collections coming up over the next few months
and require volunteers. With restricted funding, these events are a very
important source of income for our service.

Volunteers are required for the following dates:
19th of March- Castleisland
6th of May- Tralee
15th of July- Killarney
10th of September- Listowel.

If you are available for either of the above locations, please let us know.

“Sharing the Journey” is a newly established parent lead organisation,
offering unconditional parent-to-parent support for ALL parents of D/deaf
and hard-of-hearing children, irrespective of communication, education or
technological decisions they have made or will make for their children.

Sharing the Journey was established following in-depth consultation and
research, including a consultation event ‘Looking Forward’ held in The
Aisling Hotel last May.

Their first event is in conjunction with Clap Handies and Simply Signing is
in St. Vincent’s Centre, Drumcondra, Dublin 7 (Tuesday 15th March 2011) from
10am – 1pm. All D/deaf and hard of hearing babies and toddlers are invited
to join them. Admission is free, but advanced booking is essential as places
are limited.

For further information on the organisation or to book a place contact
Theresa on 087 9163168/ 085 7225659 or email [email protected]

The registration for the EFSLI 2011 conference in Italy is now open! If you
register before April 15th, you can avail of the early bird price. If you
miss this deadline, you can avail of the regular rate up until the 1st of
July. Any registrations thereafter will be charge at a ‘late’ rate. To
register, go to the following weblink

In Ireland, many of us look to the UK as a leading example in service
provision to Deaf adults and children. However, a recent report claims deaf
children with additional needs are having their futures blighted by bad,
unprofessional and often non-existent support and medical care.

The research revealed the “shockingly low” expectations some professionals
have of these children: often, the report said, a result of them seeing a
collection of conditions instead of the whole child.

In one case, doctors failed to diagnose a deaf child as also being fully
blind until she was 18 months old, despite the mother repeatedly reporting
her daughter’s inability to see.

In another case, the behaviour of a blind toddler who repeatedly hit his
head against hard surfaces was dismissed as normal for a child with learning
disabilities. It was not until the father persuaded the doctor to watch a
film he had made on his laptop, that the child was diagnosed with a brain

Susan Daniels, Chief Executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society
(NDCS) at the University of Manchester, which funded the Complex Needs,
Complex Challenges report, said: “We are alarmed by the findings of this
research, which shows services are not geared up to support or care for
children who are deaf and have other disabilities.”

This is a wake up call to professionals in the UK and Ireland. Alot can be
learnt from this research. We know from experience, very little investment
is made in generic services for the Deaf, never mind about specialist
services for Deaf adults and children who have disabilities.

A Deaf Fort Dodge woman is suing a hospital for allegedly forcing her to use
her 7-year-old daughter as a sign-language interpreter before she had

Jessie Fox says in a federal lawsuit that she asked officials at Trinity
Regional Medical Center to provide an interpreter so she could understand
instructions from the medical staff. She says the Fort Dodge hospital
refused her request, so she had to rely on her daughter, Addison, to

The arrangement led to a medication mix-up and put the girl and her mother
an unfair and unsafe situation, the lawsuit says.

“Addison as a 7-year-old did not understand the medical terminology to
interpret the information to her mother, Ms. Fox,” the lawsuit says. “Ms.
Fox was placed in the child-like role, whereas Addison was placed in the
adult-like role. Ms. Fox was exasperated, frustrated, and helpless as a
parent during her daughter’s pre-operative appointment.”

In an interview, Fox, 30, said she often has run into such problems as a
Deaf person. She filed the lawsuit because she wants medical professionals
to understand the need for sign-language interpreters. “This is a
discrimination issue,” she said through an interpreter.

A spokeswoman for Trinity’s parent company, Iowa Health System, said they
acknowledged that Trinity needed to improve its ability to communicate with
Deaf individuals, and Trinity has undertaken a comprehensive effort to
educate staff and provide appropriate services to all Deaf patients.

The hospital has since held staff training on the needs of Deaf people. They
asked the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa for assistances and developed
signage to make patients aware of interpreter services; and contracted with
a company for interpreting and video relay services for Deaf patients.

This is an issue Ireland can learn a lot from? Many hospitals in Ireland do
not have comprehensive policies and procedures when they have Deaf patients.
In many instances trained and accredited interpreters are not provided.
Professionals rely on children or people with minimal signs to communicate
with Deaf adults and children and this is totally unacceptable. As a result
Deaf people are being discriminated and not informed fully of their medical
issues. This issue needs to be addressed on a national basis in Ireland.

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