Hi, welcome to the Kerry Deaf Resource Centre update for next week starting
20th September 2010. We had the wrong date on last week’s update. Of course
it should have been 13th September. Apologies for any inconvenience caused!

The Health & Leisure Department at the Institute of Technology Tralee has
been in touch about upcoming activities as follows:

29th September: surfing in Banna
9th October: Canoeing/Kayaking in Fenit (Cappanalea if winds are high)
20th October: Adventure Games at ITT North Campus
10th November: Orienteering in Currachase
24th November: High ropes in Dingle
8th December: Rock climbing in Dingle

If you are interested in participating in any of these activities, please
let us know. A group of KDRC members went rock climbing in Dingle last year
with the ITT, and great fun was had by all. We are sure that it will be
equally successful this year. Contact us by text or email (details below)
for more information or to put your name on list.

The Irish Deaf Teens’ Youth Club will reopen again on 20 September 2010. The
Club will meet every Monday from 7.15-8.15pm in St. Joseph’s School hall.
For more information about the Youth Club, contact Ronan: email –
[email protected].

The long-awaited decision in the case of Deaf woman Joan Clarke case was
given in the High Court on 14th July last. The case, taken by Free Legal
Advice Centre (Flac), was heard in the High Court over two years ago. Ms.
Clarke, who is Deaf, had been summonsed for jury service, and wanted to
undertake this civic duty as an Irish citizen. She requested a reasonable
accommodation in the form of a sign language interpreter in order to do so.
However, she was excused from jury service because of her deafness.

Ms. Clarke won part of her case in the High Court the ban when the court
ruled that a County Registrar was not entitled to exclude Ms. Clarke from
jury service. However, the judgment does not clear the way for deaf people
to serve on a jury. The judge Mr Justice O’Keefe said the presence of a sign
language interpreter in a jury room would breach confidentiality, which is
an integral part of trial by jury.

Very little has changed as a result of this decision, as it stated that Sign
Language interpreters could not be present for jury deliberations.
Therefore, Deaf people will continue to be excluded from jury service.

Michael Farrell, a solicitor with Flac, said the decision made “an important
dent” in the ban on deaf jurors which was “offensive and hurtful” to deaf
people and had “no place in a modern and inclusive society”. He also said
“It was unfortunate the judge did not go on to accept that sign language
interpreters could be used in a jury room without interfering with the
jury,” he said.

For details of the case and decision see the Flac briefing note:

Free Legal Advice Centre (Flac) will hold its free clinic every second month
at their North Frederick Street Centre, Dublin ( offices). All
are welcome, and a Sign Language interpreter will be available. The next
Flac clinic will be held on October 7th at 8pm.

A British diplomat is suing the foreign ministry after it withdrew her
posting as deputy ambassador to Kazakhstan on the grounds that her deafness
made it too expensive. Jane Cordell accused the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office of discrimination after it said it could not afford the 500,000
pounds sterling cost of providing her with specialist lip-speakers. Ms.
Cordell said that the ministry was “imposing a glass ceiling on the career
prospects of the disabled”.

One of her laywers, Catherine Spain, commented that “The FCO has a budget of
2.2 billion pounds sterling a year and what they’re asked for Jane is not
much.” Ms. Cordell also argues that the FCO figure is unrealistic and her
needs could be met for 176,000 pounds sterling per year – a slight increase
on what the Foreign Office was willing to pay while she was stationed in
Warsaw. The FCO defended its decision, saying it was “fully committed” to
providing equal opportunities to disabled staff.

Ms. Cordell entered the FCO in 2001 and was posted to the British embassy in
Warsaw in 2006 where she was provided with lip-speakers and won an award for
championing the rights of the disabled. Before starting her job in Warsaw
she took Polish language classes, stunning her Polish counterparts, and
developing such a high level that she spoke Polish on Polish TV and helped
the Polish parliament draft new disability legislation.

A decision in the case is expected in November.

For more information see: