JUSTISIGNS – Interpreters working with victims of sexual abuse – Masterclass with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Interpreters working with victims of sexual abuse – masterclass with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited and the Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin are delighted to be collaborating with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre who will host this 2-day training session as part of the JUSTISIGNS project masterclass series. The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has since 1979 offered a wide range of services to women and men who are affected by rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse. The Education and Training Department of DRCC provides training programmes for professionals and volunteers who provide support or services to victims of sexual violence.

This training programme is designed to prepare deaf and hearing interpreters to work with victims of sexual violence including in their interaction with the legal process. It provides an opportunity to consider the beliefs that exist in society in relation to sexual violence and how they are internalised by and impact upon the victim. Participants will learn about the impact of childhood abuse and of rape and sexual assault. The legal process and its impact on the victim who reports is explored, and issues which arise for the interpreter. The principles and ethics of interpreting are considered in relation to working within this context. Some guidelines are provided regarding interpreting in a counselling situation.

The training approach is participative and experiential. Methods used include group discussion, lecture, case studies, videos, and experiential exercises. The training approach is invitational, with the sensitive nature of the issues being covered and the fact that they may resonate for participants acknowledged. Participation is encouraged but without pressure. There is a strong focus on the impact on the interpreter of working with these issues, the potential for vicarious traumatisation, and strategies the interpreter can employ for self care.

The training programme will be delivered by Leonie O’Dowd, Head of Education and Training and Jane Baird, Education Executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Education and Training Department.  DRCC develops and delivers tailored training programmes for those providing services and supports to people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence.  DRCC has provided training programmes for ISL interpreters in the past, and has published a Handbook for community interpreters ‘Interpreting in Situations of Sexual Violence and other Trauma’.  Leonie has worked with DRCC for 16 years and is an accredited  psychotherapist with specialist training in the treatment of trauma.  Jane has worked with DRCC for 7 years.  She is also an accredited psychotherapist, and has considerable experience of working and training in the area of disability.

To book please visit:  justisignsdrcc.eventbrite.ie  PLACES ARE LIMITED For any queries please contact Haaris on 087 2270311 or email: info@justisigns.com

Commemorating International Mother Language Day – Irish Sign Language to air on NEWSTALK 106 -108fm



Dil Wickremasinghe

To commemorate International Mother Language Day, Interesource Group is delighted to be a producer and co-sponsor of the filming of the Irish Sign Language broadcast of a series of interviews aired during the Global Village Saturday night slot, hosted by Dil Wickremasinghe. DOWNLOAD POSTER HERE

This broadcast discusses Irish Sign Language. Experts from Trinity College Dublin’s Centre for Deaf Studies give their views on the recognition of the language in Ireland and what it means for the Irish Deaf community with views from Professor Lorraine Leeson and Dr John Bosco Conama. Dil discusses raising a child with a Deaf mother and also speaks to her hearing child who is a CODA (Children of Deaf Adult). She also explores early child language acquisition with a mother of two Deaf children.

Interesource Group is proud to be a sponsor along with the Centre for Deaf Studies, Bridge Interpreting and Sign Language Interpreting Service.

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Interesource Group and Blood Bike Mid-West (BBMW) – launch fundraising Campaign for 2015


Haaris Sheikh with John Sheedy and Frank Henniger of Blood Bike Mid West

Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited is proud and excited to form a strategic fundraising alliance with Blood Bike Mid-West, a charitable organisation that provides free emergency transport to the HSE, private hospitals, clinics and hospices.


Based in Limerick, its motorbike volunteers operate from 7pm through the night providing a nationwide delivery of breast milk, blood, drugs and any other emergency medical products between one hospital and another.

Haaris Sheikh, Chief Executive of Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited has been a supporter of charitable organisations in Ireland and has been involved in fundraising campaigns for St. Vincent’s Lisnagry, Stroke Support Club Limerick and the Deaf Community Centre. Interesource Group has already sponsored some of the Blood Bike Mid-West operational activities, but when John Sheedy, Director of BBMW told his story of how he became involved in BBMW, Haaris could not resist getting involved.

John told Haaris over a cup of coffee overlooking Lough Derg in Killaloe that his son Noel was only seven. He said “he was perfect, full of life and fun, blonde hair and into sport in a big way. My wife spotted this little mark at the back of his ear and the doctors had him in hospital within minutes. While the doctors, our own GP and nurses in the hospital did all that they could, Noel was in a coma within four hours. There was a special drug for meningitis but it was held in Dublin and the hospital had to get it down. They did it as fast as they could but it was too late for Noel.

Often, good inventions come from identifying a very specific need. BBMW did just that. It is a unique service and like so many great causes – is not funded. The costs of operating and acquiring the bikes, the fuel cost and of course the volunteers’ time is managed by fundraising and donations.

Haaris says: “In 2015, I along with my team will be contacting suppliers, supporters, friends and business associates to encourage people to work with me, donate, help in fundraising or run an event from which proceeds can go to BBMW. It’s a worthy cause. Even if we have volunteers who can ride the bikes, someone still has to pay for the fuel and maintenance – so every euro helps towards getting the bikes on the road”.

Celebrating the start of Interesource Group’s alliance with BBMW is marked with the presentation of a cheque for €1000.00 from Declan Collins (General Manager) of The Stables Club, (University of Limerick) where Haaris is director of HR.

For any queries ideas or suggestions please contact Haaris on 087 2270311 or

email: givealittle@interesourcegroup.com


Sublimely elegant – luxurious square business cards


2015 range of luxury business cards

Just in for 2015, these cards are 65mm x 65mm printed on premium quality stock with an aqua blue seam running through the middle for an extra touch of class.

These cards are three times thicker which adds to the high-end feel as soon as you take these out of the box. If you want to take your brand seriously this might just be the choice for you.

Also available in this range are rectangle cards, notepaper, postcards and letterheads.

Workshop for interpreters – using demand control schema in police settings

As part of the JUSTISIGNS project, two exciting workshops will be delivered by Robyn Dean and Robert Pollard on Sat 20th Sept for Deaf interpreters and for both Deaf and hearing interpreters on Sun 21st Sept at the Centre for Deaf Studies.

To book please email leesonl@tcd.ie



JUSTISIGNS – Access to justice for Deaf communities


We have seen repeated coverage of a fake interpreter (Mr Thamsanqa Jantjie) hit the headlines recently at major events such as President Nelson Mandela’s memorial service and more recently the same interpreter being satirically cast for a video sharing app. The world is shocked that such farcical events can be allowed to happen. Who booked the interpreter? What are his qualification? What about security? Was he really talking nonsense?

Well – you may be surprised to learn that every day, Deaf people are subjected to situations in health, justice and education where some authorities who ought to be responsible for the provision of a qualified sign language interpreter fall short on either providing one, do not hire adequately trained professionals, or do not actually think there is a the need for a qualified interpreter. For a Deaf person, the outcome of this is the same as what Deaf people experienced from President Mandela’s memorial service – where their right to proper interpretation has been denied and they are excluded from the conversation.

JUSTISIGNS is European project coordinated by Interesource Group. It represents a ground-breaking initiative focusing on identifying competencies for sign language interpreting in legal settings and providing training for both qualified and qualifying signed language interpreters in this domain. In JUSTISIGNS, legal settings is referred to in a generic context referring to the court room, interactions with solicitors, barristers and lawyers and also interactions of Deaf people with the national police services.

The training materials will be developed for vocational educational training (VET) and continuous professional development (CPD) for

  • Qualified and qualifying signed language interpreters working in legal settings;
  • Deaf communities
  • Legal professionals.

Expert partners involved in JUSTISIGNS are:

  • Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • KU Leuven (Faculty of Arts, Campus Antwerp), Belgium
  • European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters (efsli), Belgium
  • University of Applied Sciences for Special Needs Education, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies, Heriot Watt University, Scotland, UK
  • European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association (EULITA), Belgium.

See project website www.justisigns.com for more information.

Deaf people’s access to justice – Conversation Across the Atlantic

Neill McDevitt (DHCC) and Brian Morrison

Neill McDevitt (DHCC) and Brian Morrison

As part of the JUSTISIGNS project, Interesource Group was part of a dissemination event at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, USA hosted by the Department of Linguistics and the Deaf Hearing Community Center (DHCC). The aim of the event was to share good practices and discuss issues pertaining to Deaf people’s access to justice through signed language interpretation.

One of the key areas of concern is the lack of awareness amongst legal professionals whose client is Deaf and who have little understanding about Deaf cultural norms which affect the communication process when there is a sign language interpreter present. The key aspects discussed the triadic relationship that exists between the client (Deaf person) the service provider (i.e the legal professional) and the sign language interpreter. Each party to this three-way exchange has a role to play. Each party must be certain of one another’s function and this is the key to ensuring effective communication between the parties present.

Employers – are you Deaf friendly?

logoInteresource Group is a partner in a European network called DEAF – ICT. The project brings together experts from Italy, Germany Ireland and Poland and is aimed at providing guidance to employers who employ Deaf people. We are currently developing best practice guidelines which focus on aspects of Deaf culture, communication and the awareness of Irish Sign Language (ISL)

Many employers are aware of equality legislation and equal opportunities however in practice most will not know English is a second language of Deaf people who use Irish Sign Language. Many employers will use methods of communication that simply are not effective. While writing notes is fine – the reliance of written communication alone in a working environment can lead to isolation and lack of personal contact. Many employers will not have worked with a sign language interpreter and feel that lip-reading will suffice and that all deaf people can lip-read.

Employment advancement (training, promotion and progression) for deaf people is also a concern as Deaf people have reported that employers often neglect to accommodate the needs of a sign language user either as a result of not possessing sufficient know-how in job redesign (reasonable accommodation) or simply not being “Deaf-aware”. Often, Deaf employees feel left out of decisions and discussions when a sign language interpreter was not present and hearing managers told the Deaf employee that they can “catch-up later” by being provided with the information after the meeting. The majority of hearing employers do not have an opportunity to meet and interact with Deaf people and naturally they are more inclined to think of the Deaf experience from their own point of view.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh


It’s been a difficult few years for Irish citizens and businesses since the austerity measures were put in place 6 years ago. Whether the blame lies with the global economic crisis, the domestic banking scandals or a lack of strategic political direction, there is no doubt that we have all been affected in some way or another.

Ireland is country where people pull together and get on with the job at hand and we are hoping that the green shoots that we see rising is a hopeful sign of better things to come.

No matter what, no matter which country you are from or which country you are in, finding a reason to be proud gives strength and inspiration to move forward and overcome the hurdles that we all encounter. We couldn’t sum it up better than how this video – IRELAND INSPIRES, from Fáilte Ireland, captures the essence of what Ireland is about.

Irrespective of your connection with Ireland – we wish you a healthy, happy and a fun St. Patrick’s Day.

Video source: FailteIrelandTV, YouTube. Developed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. To share or download please click here. FáilteIrelandTV

MEDISIGNS – European Language Label Award

MEDISIGNS team receive the ELL award

Anna Bury (DCC Limerick), Haaris Sheikh (Interesource Group), Finola Sisk and Dr John Bosco Conama (Trinity College Dublin)

The MEDISIGNS project team, led by Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited, was one of seven winners and awarded the 2013 European Language Label for innovative ways of teaching and learning languages. The European Language Label, which is simultaneously run in over 20 European countries, has been a major event in the languages’ calendar since 1998. The Award recognises creative and innovative ways to improve the quality of language teaching and learning. This year’s winners were selected on the basis of excellence, innovation, creativity and their ability to serve as a model for others.

The MEDISIGNS team comprised of the Centre for Deaf Studies (Trinity College Dublin); University of Nicosia (Cyprus); The Foundation for the Promotion of Enterprise (Poland); University of Stockholm (Sweden) and Heriot Watt University (Scotland).

To celebrate the European Day of Languages Professor David Crystal addressed the winners. Dr Céline Healy, Chair of the Iris National Jury, commented that the winning projects illustrate the importance of innovative language-learning initiatives during times of economic challenge.  Dr. Healy also noted, “These award-winning projects provide a potential source of inspiration and motivation for others teaching and learning languages”.

In his keynote address, Professor David Crystal highlighted the benefits of multilingualism.  These include enhanced cognitive abilities and social skills at a personal level and numerous political and economic benefits at a societal level.  He added, “We need awards like the European Language Label. But we also need to work towards eradicating myths and inculcating realities. We still need to work towards a ‘House of Languages’ in every country, where language and languages, language teaching and language learning, are proudly celebrated”

To get further information about the project visit www.medisignsproject.eu