The Irish Deaf Society has said that government cuts are starting to hit the key services that they provide for Deaf people where they are needed the most.
Kevin Mulqueen, the society chair, said they are forced to rely on alternative sources of funding such as cash donations and donations from wills to keep key services running.
However, Mr Mulqueen told the Irish Examiner that the society has reduced the number of hours they can deliver sign language tuition and adult literacy services because of funding cuts.
Maura Buckley, a former Teacher of the Deaf, who recently received a lifetime achievement award for her work in the Deaf community, has accused the government of not understanding Irish Deaf people’s needs. She said further cuts to services would lead to more isolation for deaf people in Ireland.
“We’ve had cutbacks in the last few years that have affected us,” he (Kevin Mulqueen) said. “We’ve had to really stretch our services. In relation to the Irish sign language home tuition, the allocation of hours has been reduced.
“The deaf adult literacy services is the only one of its kind in Ireland and we’ve had huge cuts there, we’ve had to minimise hours, cut classes and there are students we can’t provide classes for.
“Our services are a very valuable commodity to the deaf community, and although we are grateful to the funding the cutbacks have affected us.
“We do have to fundraising to keep our services on a par with what we were at a few years ago, and that includes personal donations and bequeathing wills.”
By Paul Harrison, the Limping Chicken’s News Reporter. Paul is a freelance journalist, currently living and working in London. When not at his desk writing or tweeting, he can be found at a coffee shop or Loftus Road/The Stoop/Celtic Park (delete as applicable) mumbling insults at the referee or sloppy passing. Follow him on Twitter as @paulbharrison
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