Information Service launched for People with

Hearing and Speech Difficulties

Minister Joan Burton and Citizens Information Phone Service launch new online information facility to assist those with hearing and speech difficulties


The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD recently officially launched a new instant chat information service for  Citizens Information Phone Service called ‘Live Advisor’ specifically for people with hearing and  speech  difficulties.  The service is funded by the Citizens Information Board.


‘Live Advisor’ is a free, confidential, one-to-one service which provides information on a wide range of social and civil rights and entitlements.   The Live Advisor service, which is user friendly in design, is available between the hours of 9am and 5pm (Monday to Friday) and can be accessed by logging on to www.ciboard.ie/liveadvisor .


Commenting at the launch Minister Joan Burton TD said, “The importance of information provision cannot be over emphasized as it is a key element in assisting people to participate in society.  I am very familiar with the fact that people’s rights and entitlements can so often stand or fall on the quality of information available to them and on the level of access to information”


“The Citizens Information Phone Service team is very proud to now be in a position to assist people that previously had difficulty accessing our service.  It is a step forward in our philosophy of inclusion for all” said Deirdre Power, Manager of the Citizens Information Phone Service (CIPS).


The service was actively promoted in 2010 with relevant voluntary bodies like the Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) Irish Deaf Society, DeafHear, Cork Deaf Association, DFI and MS Ireland.


The Citizens Information Phone Service national helpline (076 107 4000 or 1890 777 121) has experienced a dramatic increase in demand for their services. This year, to the end of August, the service has responded to some 115,000 requests for information and advice on public and social services such as social welfare and employment rights queries.


The general public can continue to make enquiries to CIPS to ensure that the Live Advisor is kept available for people with hearing and speech difficulties.


The Citizens Information Phone Service is an important channel of information for citizens that links in with the other supports provided by the Citizens Information Board including citizensinformation.ie, the country wide network of Citizens Information Services, the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities and MABS.


For further information on the Live Advisor facilities go to www.ciboard.ie/liveadvisor

The aim of Near Media’s Intercultural Dialogue through Community Media Project is to increase integration and intercultural understanding in society. We are currently recruiting for 8 participants (4 Irish and 4 non-EU nationals) to complete a FETAC level 4 in community radio and intercultural media literacy and, when accredited, to form a production team to create 13 radio programmes on the theme of intercultural dialogue, which will be broadcast on Near90fm. 

Those interested in participating in the project should download and complete the Motivation Form and return it to Grace (details below) before the 7th October.

If you have any questions please contact Grace Wilentz, Intercultural Dialogue through Community Media Coordinator, Near Media Co-op – grace[@]near.ie

Launch of the ‘Our Say, Our Rights’ Project Wednesday 14th September 2011


Time: 11.00-14.00

Place: Trinity College Dublin School of Nursing and Midwifery, 24 D’Olier Street (The Gas Building), Dublin 2.

Contact: Fintan Sheerin- sheerinf@tcd.ie

On Wednesday 14th September 2011, more than 100 people with intellectual disabilities and their advocates will come together in Trinity College Dublin for the launch of the artwork for the ‘Our Say, Our Rights’ tapestry on human rights and intellectual disability. This project, which has been organized by IDRights: Human Rights and People with Intellectual Disabilities (www.idrights.ie) – chaired by Dr. Fintan Sheerin of TCD School of Nursing and Midwifery – brings together the work of more than 130 people with intellectual disabilities. These individuals have submitted squares which represent what they consider to be the important rights-related dimensions in their lives. This, therefore, affords us an opportunity to find out what these Irish people value and want in their lives in 2011.

The event builds on the work that was done in the ‘Right. Let’s Stand Up for Ourselves’ events, that were held in Dublin in 2009 and 2010, and in Limerick in 2010.

Whereas there have been significant developments in relation to disability rights over the past years, these have often had little or no direct impacted on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Thus, many of the individuals with an Intellectual Disability  still experience discrimination, inequality and marginalisation at least some time during their lives, whether in relation to specific issues such as education, health, access to public services and employment or to more general issues such as non-inclusion in society.  In response to such realities, advocacy movements and rights commissions have emerged locally, and have striven to address individuals’ and groups’ rights, but there has been no cohesive national forum for such endeavours.

One of the organisers of this event, Dr. Fintan Sheerin of TCD School of Nursing and Midwifery, highlights the importance of this event as one that “gives voice to a group of Irish people who are often not heard or, indeed, listened to. In doing so, it celebrates their resilience in the face of adversity and in expressing what they consider important in their lives, demonstrates that they desire the same things as do other members of Irish society – above all, equality, respect and meaning.”


The event will be at the Trinity College Dublin School of Nursing and Midwifery, 24 D’Olier Street (The Gas Building), Dublin 2 (11.00-14.00). Funding from Persons with Disabilities in Ireland is gratefully acknowledged. Other sponsors include Starbucks Coffee.

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