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April 30, 2004

Deaf talkabout: Festive birthday weekend ahead

From: Belfast Telegraph - Belfast,Nothern Ireland,UK - Apr 30, 2004

By Bob McCullough

30 April 2004

DEAF Senior Citizens, from their offices in Bangor, are organising special events to celebrate their fifth birthday and Secretary Gwen Scott writes about the plans being made for the weekend of May 7-9 at Laganside and the Park Avenue Hotel.

Things kick off on Friday with a wine and cheese evening at the hotel from 7.30pm with guest speakers Paddy Ladd and Clark Denmark from England. These are two of the most famous men in the deaf community and both of them have been behind the recent successful moves to get sign language recognised by the Government.

The charge for this event is £6, including the eats and drinks or £2 for the meeting only.

Saturday 8th is a family fun day with face painting, a bouncing castle and a rodeo bull, as well as vehicles for the kids to climb over and many other things for them to see and do.

It's all free apart from the sponsored zip-line at Laganside. The zip-line is an aerial ropeway across the water. You need to contact Gwen on fax 91 470905 with a registration fee of £25 to reserve a place.

On the evening of the same day there will be a gala dinner dance at the Park Avenue and this is open to all at the charge of £20 per person.

The celebrations conclude with an interdenominational church service at 10.30am on Sunday in the Park Avenue. All five deaf churches will be represented. Everyone is invited.

Since its conception five years ago, the DSC has been successful in providing fellowship for the older signing deaf community at regular lunch dates around the country and in organising bus runs and outings.

This summer they are taking things one step further with plans to join a cruise liner around the southern seas.

To contact Gwen about tickets see her in the DSC office on Dufferin Avenue, the street beside the station in Bangor, or phone or fax her on 91 470905. She is also available by minicom on 91 478175.

The Department for Regional Development invited deaf people to express their views on public transport at a meeting organised by Disability Action in Grosvenor House last Monday. I was not able to attend the meeting but, from talking to deaf people and from my own experience, two big changes would be welcomed.

The first is the need for a text display on our trains to give us basic information as to what has gone wrong when a train journey is terminated. It happened to me twice when returning from Dublin and it was frightening to be left completely in the dark.

The second is for a large printout of destinations to which we could point when boarding a bus. It is embarrassing trying to make ourselves understood to the driver when other passengers are crowding behind.

© 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd