As Chairperson of the Catholic Institute for Deaf People (CIDP) I am pleased to present this statement together with the audited accounts of CIDP for the year ending 31st of December 2011. The main areas I wish to reflect on in this annual statement are the finances of CIDP, the development of the new Deaf Village Ireland Project, the work of the residences managed by CIDP, the development of the schools of which CIDP are the trustees, the opening of the Centre for Deaf Education and the work of the Chaplaincy service to the Deaf community.
The finances of CIDP remain strong at the end of 2011 with CIDP retaining €11.3 million on deposit. This sum was significantly boosted by the receipt in December 2011 of a €3 million grant from the HSE to CIDP in respect of the construction of Deaf Village Ireland. €5.6 million was allocated in 2011 towards the construction of Deaf Village Ireland which will be completed in July 2012. The financial situation was also strengthened by the sale of a small portion of land on the Cabra site.
The CIDP strategy is to deliver an enhanced environment to support the Deaf community over three phases. Phase one – the development of Deaf Village Ireland was 50% complete by year end 2011 and will open in September 2012. Phase two – is the set up of a Centre for Deaf Education and the proposed amalgamation of St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s schools for Deaf Boys and Girls. The Centre for Deaf Education was set up in June 2011 on a two year project basis and the planning and consultation for the possible amalgamation of the schools will be completed by the end of 2012. Phase three – involves the moving of St. Joseph’s House Brewery road to the new Deaf Village Ireland site. This move envisages the development of new independent living and high support accommodation. This is planned for 2014.
On the operational side of the CIDP finances, further cuts in HSE funding were experienced in 2011 across all three residences. CIDP has reduced its expenditure accordingly and has had to ask staff in St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s residences to take a 5% cut in salary, it has put in place a voluntary redundancy package which some staff have availed of, other staff who have retired have not been replaced while St. Joseph’s House Brewery road has undergone a major restructuring which will deliver savings in the future.
Of most concern for CIDP is the financial position of St. Joseph’s House Brewery road which was mentioned in my last Annual Report. Its financial position has again deteriorated in 2011. The key reason for this is the difficulty in accessing funds for the placement of vulnerable Deaf and Deaf Blind adults in St. Joseph’s. It is evident that there are many vulnerable adults in need of residential care within their own Deaf and DeafBlind community. It is enriching to visit St. Joseph’s House and see the transformation of individuals who have come from non signing environments and how they develop within a signing environment where their communication needs are respected and their isolation is ended.
Significant restructuring took place this year in St. Joseph’s House Brewery road which will enable the service offer an even higher standard of care than in the past. A cost saving plan has been put in place as well as a methodology to attract new residents but this is dependent on the HSE agreeing to fund additional Deaf and Deaf Blind residents in 2012.
St. Joseph’s House Brewery road had an income for 2011 of €1.75 million and the expenditure was €2 million leaving a deficit of €268,152. The balance sheet shows that to date CIDP has funded St. Joseph’s House Brewery road by €692,315 since 2005. St. Mary’s residence for Girls had income of €1,24 million and expenditure of €1,26 million leaving a deficit of €27,043 for 2011. St. Joseph’s residence for Boys has income of €2,11 million and expenditure of €2,115 million leaving a deficit of €4,848 for 2011. CIDP itself shows an income of €900,148 and expenditure of €1,228,207. This does not include the monies expended on the Deaf Village Ireland Project but does include the operation of the National Chaplaincy service.
The Deaf Village Ireland Project is the major project currently for CIDP. To enable this Project be delivered effectively with the involvement and cooperation of the Deaf community, CIDP set up a subsidiary company called the National Deaf Village Ireland Sports and Leisure Company Limited (Sportsco). This company began operation in June 2011 and it is this company that has contracted with John Sisk and Sons Limited to build Deaf Village Ireland. Prior to the inception of this company the Board of CIDP agreed the financial arrangements in relation to the construction of Deaf Village Ireland and agreed with the Board of Sportsco that CIDP would fund Sportsco to deliver the Project. By year end 2011, Sportsco, funded by CIDP, had paid John Sisk and Sons Limited €5.6 million.
Sportsco is comprised of eight directors, three from CIDP and two from Deaf Sports Ireland (including the Chairperson) and one from the Irish Deaf Society, DeafHear.ie and the Dublin Deaf Association. The Board meets monthly and receives reports from the CEO and Head of Finance of CIDP and from the Project Manager for the development. This structure has ensured that the decision making in relation to the construction is effective and that the Deaf community are involved at the critical decision making level. This company is also VAT compliant and will be responsible for the running of the Sports Centre once built.
In tandem with this new company being set up, regular meetings have taken place with the various Deaf organisations in relation to the setting up of a company to run Deaf Village Ireland. This company will be made up of the organisations taking office and other space in the Deaf Village complex. This will be a new independent company whose remit is to manage the Village apart from the Sports Centre. The Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company were agreed during 2011 and the company will be set up in mid 2012. The critical aspect of both of these companies is that they will ensure that the Deaf community is enabled to manage the Village for its own community.
CIDP in cooperation with the schools and residences has engaged in a marketing campaign to promote the schools through media events, public relations, newspaper articles, surveys, open days and midterm camps. There is a constant effort on the part of CIDP to ensure that the importance of specialist teaching offered by the schools which enables Deaf and hard of hearing children develop in an appropriate manner is recognised by both the parents of and professionals working with Deaf and hard of hearing children. CIDP has also invested in both St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s schools from an information technology perspective to ensure that the infrastructure used is of the highest standard. Both schools had a whole school evaluation in 2011 and the reports from the inspectors in respect of these schools were excellent and indicate the high standard of teaching which is available there. The schools also had a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) review and the review indicated that the appropriate number of SNA’s were in the school.
The school residences have focused on enabling the older students live in a more independent manner and the Life Skills Programme being run for vulnerable men has proven to be a good modal for the future. The success of this pilot is due in no small way to the cooperation from CIDP staff, DeafHear.ie and the Irish Deaf Society.
The Centre for Deaf Education was set up in 2011 by CIDP in cooperation with DeafHear.ie, the Irish Deaf Society and Trinity College CDS. With a coordinator in place the Centre has begun work on ensuring that support services, information and research on the education of Deaf and hard of hearing children are available to parents and professionals, with a particular focus to ensure that parents are put in touch with the organisations best placed to service their needs.
2011 also saw the retirement of Sr. Lydia Slattery. Sr. Lydia is a legend in respect of educational audiology, her work over 50 years has assisted and supported so many parents come to an understanding of the needs of their children. Thankfully she is still working on an adhoc basis but it is important to acknowledge the tremendous work Sr. Lydia has undertaken.
Finally the work of the Chaplaincy service has expanded again this year. Besides the chaplaincy work carried out in respect of the sacraments, the support to the schools, the support of Deaf people in the community during difficult and happy times, the chaplaincy has put considerable work into ensuring that the Deaf community are part of the overall Christian community in Ireland and abroad. Their work in terms of the World Youth Day in 2011 and the preparations for the Eucharistic Congress in 2012 among their events has been of major benefit to the Deaf community.
On behalf of the Archbishop of Dublin, the President of our Company, I am very grateful to the members of the Board of CIDP who serve as directors on a voluntary basis, for their time, expertise and commitment. Also to the CEO and staff of CIDP who have represented the values of CIDP very well in the carrying out of their work. I wish to acknowledge the work of Fr. Joe Jones, Maura Buckley, Regina O’Connell and Ann McNicholas who retired this year from the Board after giving great service.