Sharing the Journey

Supporting parents and families of d/Deaf and hard of hearing children.

 

History:

The origins of Sharing the Journey can be traced to March 2010 when its founding members, Theresa Eccles, Teresa McDonnell and Janet Rose, attended a conference on the future of Deaf Education in Ireland at Croke Park.

All three women are mothers of d/Deaf sons. At the conference, they discussed the need for parent to parent support and for a National Parents Support and Advocacy Association for parents of d/Deaf and hard of hearing children (D/ HH). They agreed to commit their time and experience to establishing this association.

In May 2010, with the support of the Catholic Institute for Deaf People, they organised and presented 'Looking Forward', a round table discussion forum for parents of D/HH children from all over Ireland. At the forum, it was decided that the first step in establishing a National Organisation was the establishment of local groups. Theresa, Teresa and Janet invited other interested persons to focus on establishing a Dublin /Eastern Area group.

In February 2011, following extensive research and communication with Irish and international organisations, Sharing the Journey was formed as an unincorporated association governed by a written constitution.

Today, Sharing the Journey comprises a governing board of ten parents and a membership base of over 100 families. Our organisation is parent lead and volunteer based and we are in the process of registering as a charity. To date, we have received funding from Dublin City Council and the Katherine Howard Foundation, for which we are most grateful.

Projects to date:

  • Extensive research and liaising with parents of D/HH children country wide, over a two year period, including a Parents Forum 'Looking Forward' in the The Aisling Hotel, Dublin in May 2010.
  • Established Parent and Toddler Group Sessions
  • Established Pre-school workshops
  • Established parent to parent phone /email helpline
  • Provided parent to parent support
  • Summer Project 2011 for 5- 15 year old D/HH children and their hearing siblings and friends
  • Supported D/HH children in mainstream summer camps by providing language / communication support.
  • Website
  • Developing an ISL online dictionary and smart phone app in conjunction with IDS to support parents and families learning ISL
  • Presented outreach education seminars for parents in conjunction with the Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin.
  • Networked with all existing associations and organisations for and of D/HH people in Ireland
  • Developed volunteer and internship programmes

Upcoming and Future Projects:

  • Official Launch 10th May 2012 Mansion House
  • Establishing The Dublin Deaf Youth Theatre in conjunction with Dublin Theatre of the Deaf
  • Community Mother (Communication) Programme for parents of D/HH children
  • Develop and present a complete early intervention programme for parents of D/HH children in conjunction with various partners, including accredited research partners in the areas of early child development, early childhood education and language acquisition
  • Signed Stories
  • Develop supports for D/HH children in mainstream playschools and crèches
  • Develop and present Maths and Literacy support workshops specifically for D/HH primary and secondary students