Kerry Deaf Resource Centre Update 17.10.11

Since March 2011, there has been a hold up in funding for equipment
applications for Deaf and hard of hearing in Kerry and Cork. We have just
been informed that doorbells and fire alarms have been approved for March
applicants. However, we do not know when the remaining equipment
applications will be sanctioned. This issue is totally out of our control
and sadly has not been fully addressed yet. We would like to apologise to
our clients for the ongoing delays. We have done everything in our power to
address these concerns with the relevant bodies and hope a positive outcome
will happen quickly.

As a direct result of the delays, our Outreach service to elderly groups and
Day Care Centres has been put on hold for the past number of months. If and
when, issues are addressed and the backlog of equipment is cleared, we will
reinstate these visits again.

Our next monthly mass will be held on the 13th of November. As usual the
venue will be St. John’s Pastoral Centre in Tralee. Veronica White of the
National Chaplaincy will interpret the Mass. Tea and coffee will be served
afterwards. If you require accessible transport to the Mass, please let us

Simply Signing is delighted to announce that their much loved Irish Sign
Language books, posters and puppets are available to purchase on their
website at

They have now included a large selection of puppets and puppet bundles for
you to enjoy and capture the imagination of children, parents and teachers
alike. Their books and puppets can capture the essence of fun and start you
on your sign language journey.

If you would like to place an invoice order for a school or crèche, you will
need to email or post your order on an official Purchase Order or on your
school headed paper.

Simply Signing is now on Facebook too. For more information, contact Lorna
McCormack (Director). Tel: 01 8257685 or email:[email protected]

The 50th Eucharistic Congress will be held in Dublin from the 10th-17th of
June 2012. Following discussions with the International Catholic Deaf
Foundation, it has been agreed that there will be a full Deaf track at next
year’s Congress, including six workshops facilitated by the Foundation and
signed for the Deaf.

The National Chaplaincy for Deaf People has put out a call for volunteer
sign language interpreters for the congress. A video in sign language is
available on Youtube with further information. To view the clip, go to

In a press release this week, DeafHear a national organisation working with
Deaf and hard of hearing people objected strongly to a decision by the
Referendum Commission not to have any sign language presentation in its
Referendum television campaign.

DeafHear Chief Executive, Niall Keane, said, “It is extraordinary that the
Referendum Commission ignored our access advice because their PR company
told them it would not improve accessibility significantly (for Deaf
viewers) and might detract from the overall impact”.

Mr. Keane added, “We were told it would distract other viewers.  Cost was
not an issue as it is relatively cheap to sign the advertisement.  We
recommended that sign language was necessary to make the advertisement
accessible to the 5,500 citizens who use Irish Sign Language as the primary
means of communication, and who incidentally cannot avail of the radio
advertising which is being provided by the Commission”.

Mr. Keane acknowledged that the Commission will provide, on request, a sign
language translation of an information leaflet to be posted to households
nationally, and that the television advertisement is being subtitled for
hard of hearing viewers.  However, he stated “the general public is getting
three bites of the information cherry – the radio advertisement, the
television advertisement and a personal leaflet posted to their home.  In
contrast, a Deaf voter will get less than one bite of the cherry – an
information leaflet in sign language on a DVD, but only if you know to
request it”.

“The access and communication needs of Deaf voters are being suspended by
the Referendum Commission on dubious PR advice that a sign language
presentation would detract from their masterpiece and might even distract
other viewers”. Mr. Keane called the decision “a disgraceful omission which
disadvantages a significant community of potential voters who are already
disadvantaged in information terms”.

He said, “If the sign language using community was recognised as a town
population, it would be the 69th largest town in Ireland, larger than Kells,
Birr, Roscommon or Mitchelstown, and significantly larger than the
population of an average Irish town.

Pleading for “equity of access for all citizens, including Deaf citizens,
DeafHear pointed out that the Programme for Government pledges to examine
mechanisms for promoting Irish Sign Language and that at least one
Presidential Candidate (Sean Gallagher) presented his bid for the Presidency
in sign language on his website.

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