DeafHear Regional News

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IRIS is Growing!

DeafHear IRIS is Growing

Remote Interpreting improves access for Deaf people.

In 2013, bookings in the Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS), has grown by 300%! IRIS provides a live video–link to an Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreter via the internet, which helps improve access to services for Deaf people. IRIS is suitable for short consultations, and does not replace face–to–face interpreting which is required for longer and more detailed meetings and consultations.

IRIS is a collaborative project between DeafHear, IDS and SLIS. SLIS operates the service, and it is available three days a week (more information available at ). It is suitable for short consultations, such as information queries or parent–teacher meetings.

DeafHear IRIS is Growing 2013.One example of how IRIS has improved access for Deaf people is in the area of parent-teacher meetings. In some areas it can be difficult for a school to book an interpreter for parent–teacher meetings as no interpreter may be available. Recently, in the Waterford area IRIS was used to facilitate a parent-teacher meeting very successfully.

Both parents had approached DeafHear some time ago, as they were frustrated because interpreters were not being provided for parent–teacher meetings. Their hearing son was attending a local second level school. Naturally as parents they wanted to consult with their son’s teachers in relation to his progress at school.

DeafHear approached the school in question about the possibility utilising the remote interpreting service. DeafHear provided the school with information on IRIS. The school then contacted SLIS, and completed a test to ensure that any technical issues were addressed. The school then arranged a time for the parents to meet individual teachers, and booked a slot with IRIS. The school also arranged to use a large screen TV to provide the parents with a better view of the interpreter.

The parents described their experience of using IRIS as a “great success”. In the past they had to rely on writing when meeting their son’s teachers, and they struggled to get a clear picture on his progress in school. They had to ask teachers to constantly repeat what was being said, and this was frustrating for both themselves and the teachers. The parents also said that in the past they felt extremely tired after parent-teacher meetings, due to the level of concentration required for lip reading different teachers. Also, on some previous occassions the parents said that their son had been asked by teachers to pass on information to them. They felt this was not appropriate, and were delighted that IRIS facilitated direct contact between then and the teachers.

Both parents said that they “wished it could have happened before”, and felt that the use of Iris Remote Interpreting Service was a great success. This is one example of where IRIS has improved access to important daily life experiences that benefit Deaf people and their families.

DeafHear IRIS is Growing





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