09/10/2016 Community Life


09/10/2016

A look at how Dolly Parton is helping Belfast children to love books. And the Dungiven-based charity, Hands That Talk, makes an appeal for more people to learn sign language.


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On today's Community Life, Miss Dolly Parton is helping young

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children have a love of books here at Cliftonville Integrated Primary.

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I am getting better at DIY,

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but I think this is one job I will leave to the experts.

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We'll be hearing from Women's Tec shortly.

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But first, today's main appeal comes from a charity that is

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helping to end the isolation of people with hearing problems.

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Wendy Austin has been to the Sperrins to meet Hands That Talk.

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Hi. Welcome to Hands That Talk,

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Dungiven.

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It's a very special cross-community charity,

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and I'm going to find out some more. Come on inside.

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-Hello, Dorothy.

-Hello, Wendy.

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-Thanks very much for inviting me.

-How are you?

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-I'm very well, thank you.

-You're very welcome. Have a seat.

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So, tell me, Dorothy, what's the ethos of your organisation?

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Well, Hands That Talk aspires to have a society where deaf people

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have equal rights to hearing people in every aspect of life.

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-So, do you think that deaf people are losing out, Dorothy?

-Big time.

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Definitely, yes, they are losing out,

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simply because hearing people... hearing people's lack of deaf

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awareness, and their inability to communicate in sign language.

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And this really needs to change.

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How much of a benefit would it be

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if more people were able to use sign language?

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Oh, it would be a massive change for deaf people.

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To feel included, to be integrating socially with hearing people,

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to have access to information and services,

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all of those things that they don't have now,

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it would make a massive, massive difference to their lives.

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And it has to happen.

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Hands That Talk now have more than 250 people using their services,

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and their very popular signing classes mean more deaf people

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can communicate and connect with life around them.

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So, hi, Pauline.

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Nice to meet you.

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You're the information officer here,

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but you also teach sign language classes as well?

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The hearing people in this community,

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they would come into classes here.

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We could have a five-week course, a ten-week course.

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It depends on what their preference is.

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I would organise the class,

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and they really, really enjoy learning the sign language,

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and we also try and teach a wee bit of deaf awareness and deaf community

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within the classes.

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In Northern Ireland,

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there are around 300,000 people who are affected by hearing loss.

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Of those, 20,000 are profoundly deaf.

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Rumour has it there's a cup of tea here.

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Hi, Avril.

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-Hello.

-Now, you're on a work placement here.

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How much of a difference has that made to you?

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Well, it has really helped me refresh my old work skills,

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cos I hadn't worked in such a long time.

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So, I've learnt more IT skills, computer skills,

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and it's given me confidence to go on out and possibly find a job.

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The charity has a holistic approach to helping the deaf

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and hard of hearing.

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Every summer, children from families affected by deafness have

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great fun in the surf at Benone Beach.

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Yes, they have fun. They get involved in different activities.

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We would have surfing, we would go for beach walks,

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we would collect shells, we would make, you know,

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like, the board behind us, we have made this craft.

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This is all part of the HTT Kids' Club work.

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And it's all about communication and enjoying it

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and reducing the isolation.

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The hearing community, really, what I would like to see is them

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getting more involved with the deaf community.

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You know, learn deaf awareness, learn sign language.

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Also, we would like them to help out volunteering for us, and probably

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getting some donations through this appeal for the things that we need.

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And our place here in Dungiven would be grateful for all of that.

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Now, I'm going to nip across to the library,

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where a really special choir is tuning up.

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The road's so busy I'm taking the crossing.

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# Just call on me, brother

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# If you need a hand

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# We all need somebody to lean on

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# I just might have a problem that you'll understand

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# We all need somebody to lean on... #

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Well, obviously, you can hear, but your husband is deaf, is that right?

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-That's right.

-So, is that why you got involved?

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That's why I sign, to start with, but, yes, that's why I got involved

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with Hands That Talk, because of Paddy, because of the children.

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I wanted somewhere where we could belong, basically, you know,

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because we are a deaf and a hearing family.

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I love singing. I love being part of Hands That Talk.

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And I've been in the choir now for seven years.

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I just love it, like, because it's a part of my deaf culture,

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you know, being able to be with other deaf people and just

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expressing how you feel about yourself through the choir.

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It's really nice.

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# ..We all need somebody to lean on... #

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Well, that was great, wasn't it?

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Now, if you'd like to help Hands That Talk,

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the charity would love to hear from you.

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Thanks very much.

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If you'd like to make a donation to Hands That Talk,

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visit our appeals website and click on the donate button.

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Find out more about the charity by visiting their website.

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Now, she is better known for an amazing music career,

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and Dolly is currently in the middle of a new tour,

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otherwise I'm pretty sure she might have been here today to check up on

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the Belfast children that she introduced

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to the wonderful world of books.

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The postman calls at Darragh O'Neill's home,

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and this is one excited young man,

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as he opens the latest book from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

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Dolly's initiative has sent more than 81 million books to

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children around the world to help them improve their future

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opportunities through reading.

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No, no, no! That's a parrot!

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The stories are just so enjoyable, and they've taken so well to it.

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So much so, actually, that the parents are then keen to sign up

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their little brothers and sisters.

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Brenda, what do you think of the fact that Dolly,

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this big country music star, has this type of scheme going anyway?

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Well, nothing would surprise you about Dolly,

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and we're just very thankful that she has considered literacy

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to be something that she wants to support with her charitable work.

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Parents and schools can find out more about the scheme by

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visiting Dolly's website, and there's an interview on our

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own website which will give you some more information.

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From one classroom to another now,

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and this is not your typical further education course.

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This is one specifically designed for women by the charity

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Women's Tec.

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Remove the washer inside it to stop it leaking.

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What we're going to do is take off the top lid...

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'Women's Tec, and the Tec stands for training,

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'enterprise and childcare,

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'has been in existence for almost 25 years, and it's about enhancing

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'employability and giving skills to women in the area of

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'non-traditional trades and work.

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'Our courses are available to women in plumbing, electrics,

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'joinery, painting and decorating, horticulture,

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'information technology,

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'so areas that you wouldn't normally find women working.'

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Well, here in the Women's Tec, it's very women centred

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and women focused, so you are led to believe

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that you are able to do anything that you want,

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and I think when you have that behind you, you do believe it.

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We're all interested in it,

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especially the likes of painting and decorating.

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I have a man in the house, and I swear I'm still waiting on him

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hanging a picture, so this is one of the reasons I came here, you know?

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-So, now you can show him?

-Yeah!

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I want women who think that they want to maybe undertake these

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courses or participate to give us a call, to come in and try it.

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We have sampling sessions where it's very easy for women to come in.

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It's a very supportive, nurturing environment,

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and I'm very pleased to say that last year we doubled.

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We reached our employment target twice over.

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Lynn, thank you very much.

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Check out our website for more details on Women's Tec,

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and find our community notice board for more opportunities over

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the next few months.

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Just a reminder as well that ideas for BBC Northern Ireland's

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Playing Our Part Christmas appeal can be found there as well.

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That's it from me and Community Life. I'll see you next time.

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Bye-bye.

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We find out how singer Dolly Parton is helping Belfast children to love books, and the Dungiven-based charity, Hands That Talk, makes an appeal for more people to learn sign language.