Kerry Deaf Resource Centre Update 20.02.12

Last week we shared with you a policy on the residential needs of Deaf adults with social, emotional, learning disability and mental health issues. Following this, we met with Geraldine Gallagher, Director of Care and Linda Tierney, Care Manager from St. Joseph’s Home, Brewery Road in Stillorgan in Dublin.

This week our update will profile a new service, which is being developed within St. Joseph’s Home for young Deaf adults in need of supported accommodation.

The residential, linguistic and cultural needs of Deaf people with social, emotional, learning disability and mental health issues have been ignored for too long and Deaf residents have suffered as a result for decades.

Significant funding has been spent on residential services, which has left Deaf people institutionalised, ignored and discriminated. With the move to community based settings, Deaf people are still being housed in settings that do not take into consideration their communication and cultural needs. In addition, very little attention is being given to their health and safety needs. Residential settings need to reflect the linguistic and cultural needs of Deaf sign language users. This is standard practice in other countries and Ireland is lagging far behind most countries in the world.

This new service is long overdue and a welcomed development in Ireland. Not only should it be developed in Dublin but also replicated across the country. We are aware of at least 3 Deaf adults from the south who have been sent to Derry at a huge cost to the taxpayer. This money could be directed to services based in the republic of Ireland.

The following information has been extracted from The Touchstone Centre newly published leaflets.

Welcome to ‘The Touchstone Centre,’ a new care home for young Deaf adults situated in St Joseph’s House. Touchstone offers countless opportunities for self-expression and self-development in a caring, supported environment.

‘This is an exciting new chapter at St Joseph’s House,’ says Director of Care Geraldine Gallagher.’ We are expanding our services to address this recognised and growing area of need, with a new wing dedicated to enabling young Deaf people to rediscover their independence, to connect with a community and to embrace all the vibrant richness life has to offer.’
For well over forty years, St Joseph’s has provided the highest standards of residential care for Deaf adults from throughout Ireland. This wealth of experience has now been refined to meet the care needs of vulnerable young Deaf adults. The centre’s trained and experienced staff work closely with families to welcome young Deaf adults, providing supported independence.

The lifestyle in The Touchstone Centre is easy-going, relaxed and pleasant. Nestled in a quiet, green corner on Brewery Road, Stillorgan, the centre is only a short walk from Sandyford luas station facilitating quick and easy access to Dublin city centre.

The centre employs a skilled management team, and care assistants as well as a full time activities Coordinator and all ancillary staff. Care staff are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are all capable of communicating through ISL (Irish sign language).

Of course, moving into a new residential community is a big change, so Touchstone offers flexible transition arrangements such as three-day, five-day or full seven-day stay. We also encourage residents to maintain their social and family life, creating a healthy balance with our support

The lifestyle in The Touchstone Centre is easy-going, relaxed and pleasant. At Touchstone we offer a wide range of on and off site activities.

Established links with Rehab Care and Step Enterprises. Computer room. Free wi-fi in all rooms. Sporting activities. Organised outings and holidays. Regular Deaf community involvement.

Interested? Hurry! There are only a small number of vacancies for young Deaf adults still available. For further information or to arrange a visit contact:

Touchstone house expression of interest form.docx


Geraldine Gallagher, Director of Care
Tel : 086 389 6164
E-mail [email protected]

Linda Tierney, Care Manager
Tel: 087 057 8643
E-mail [email protected]

Although privately run Touchstone is funded by the HSE, and a written funding agreement from a potential resident’s local health office is required for admission. Residents are required to pay a weekly rent – currently 115 euro (based on a 7 night stay)

On behalf of our service, we would like to wish the team in Touchstone Centre all the best and look forward to seeing the service further develop. If you would like us to profile other agencies, please let us know as we hope to highlight services and supports that are available throughout Ireland every couple of months.

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