Deaf Village Ireland Project
With all the doom and gloom being foisted on us at present it is good to report that the Deaf Village Ireland Project has become a reality.
On Monday the 28th of March 2011 the CIDP Board agreed to appoint John Sisk Ltd; as the contractor to build the Village. CIDP set up a new company Sportsco to manage and deliver the project in June 2011. Work on this €15 million project began in June 2011 and was completed in August 2012. The building of the Deaf Village will be spread over three phases, with Phase one being the most significant and costly. Phase one which began in June 2011 and entails the provision of new sporting, administration, social, educational, heritage and religious facilities. The contract between Sportsco and John Sisk Ltd. was signed in June 2011 and brought to a culmination three years of planning and consultation. While consultation on the detail of the design of the Village has been ongoing for the last three years, prior to that, for a two year period there was significant consultation with the Deaf community on a strategy for CIDP and how CIDP could enable the development of the Deaf community in a manner which did not undermine or patronise the community. The success or not of this strategy will be for others to judge but at least the building of Phase one of the Village ensures that the Deaf community and their organisations have a state of the art place to call home and from which the community can further develop.
The name of the project has always been the Deaf Village and while some within and external to the Deaf community have had a difficulty with the name it has managed to remain the most commonly used description for the project.
CIDP ran a competition in 2011 to see if a more suitable name could be found. The winning entry was the National Deaf Centre. This name emphasises the National element of the project given that many of the tenant organisations (IDSA, IDS, DeafHear.ie, IDYA etc) are national organisations and that the focus of the project is on the Deaf community. Following extensive consultation with the Deaf community, Deaf Village Ireland is now the agreed name.
Apart from the setting up of a company to build the Village a Management Company Committee was set up to manage the new facility once built. This was a representative group of all the Deaf organisations who occupy Deaf Village Ireland. This group designed the setting up of a governance, and management structure for Deaf Village Ireland. The idea is that while CIDP via Sportsco owns the land and buildings (as given to CIDP by the Church), the Village has been handed over to the Deaf community to manage. This has been achieved by the setting up of the Management Company which is a separate legal entity, with a Board of Directors comprised of all the organisations operating from the Village. Given the makeup of the organisations this ensures that the company is a Deaf led company, with ISL as its first language. The Management Company Committee designed Memorandum and Articles of Association which set out the purpose of the Company, the role of the Board of Directors how they are nominated and how they operate the company. This Board controls the Village, employs the Village staff, manages all the rents, insurance and monies and ensures that the Village remains self sufficient. This company was formally set up in June 2012 and registrered with the Companies Office in September 2012. It appointed Damian Barry as it first Chairperson and Sylvia Nolan the first Manager of Deaf Village Ireland.
The plans for Phase one of the Village are attached. Phases two and three will comprise the proposed amalgamation of the Cabra schools and residences for Deaf Boys and Girls and the moving of St. Joseph’s House Brewery road from Stillorgan to Cabra to become part of the Deaf Village, together with new independent living facilities. Another aspect of the Village is the establishment of a Centre for Deaf Education managed jointly by Deafhear.ie, the IDS, CIDP, CDS Trinity College and the Deaf schools. The Centre is now set up and operating with Elizabeth Mathews as its coordinator.
Sale of land to Centric
Centric a provider of primary care medical services has agreed to purchase land from CIDP to build a new Primary care medical facility for Cabra. Centric have successfully applied for and been granted planning permission and hope to begin building in early 2013.
Deaf Space Review
The architect (Hansel Bauman) from Gallaudet University in Washington had a significant input to the design of Deaf Village Ireland, his initial report can be downloaded below
Hansel Bauman’s Report on Deaf space in the Village Project September 2010
Hansel Bauman’s Report on Deaf space in the Village Project September 2010 and Progress review February 2012
The Committee Consultation Structures
While the Board of CIDP had ultimate control over the development of the Village Project; it received direct advice from the Project Development Committee, the Management Team and the CEO. The Project Development Committee was comprised of the professional advisors to CIDP, the CEO, Chairperson and two Board members with expertise in this area. In September 2009 of this year the four key stakeholder organizations from the Deaf community joined the Project Development Committee, namely Deaf Hear, IDS, DDA and IDSA. In June 2011 this committee became the company Sportsco, and it is this company that built the Deaf Village Ireland Project and now manages the Sports Centre called Inspire.
The initial consultation with the Deaf community and other stakeholders is now completed and the final development site and its financial implications had been approved for implementation by the CIDP Board. The final proposal was presented to a general meeting of all the Consultative Committees in late March 2010 and is available for download. The proposal envisaged the Village being completed in three phases with Phase one delivering the Administration, Sports, Social, Religious, Heritage and Centre for Deaf Education facilities. The next stage of the project sought the agreement of the Deaf organisations who wish to obtain space in the Village to the final specifications for that space and the rental costs. This was completed and the project architects finalised the design of the buildings to be built in Phase one after consultation with the Deaf community August 09. These designs were discussed with the local community in Cabra and the local representatives in September 09 and were submitted for planning permission in January 2010.
The four consultative committees namely: the Centre for Educational Excellence Committee, the Sports and Social Committee, the Residential Services Committee and the Administration, Community and Technical Services Committee were comprised of members of the Deaf community, Hard of Hearing people and professionals working with the Deaf and the Deaf/Blind communities. Each of the committees was facilitated by an independent facilitator. The intention of the committees was to ensure that the services and facilities planned for the meet the needs of the Deaf and Deaf/Blind communities and were focused on the development of the Deaf community not just the necessary facilities and services.
The work of the committees was inaugurated at a general meeting with a presentation by Liam O'Dwyer CEO of CIDP and Peter Dorman from Community Action Network (CAN). The presentation is available for download here. All committees once they completed their initial work to define the design for Deaf Village Ireland then agreed the specifications for the services and facilities in the Village Project. The second stage began in mid 2009 with a consultation on the internal requirements for the facilities and the financial and management modal for the Village.
The third stage involved the planning for the awarding of the contract to Sisk. This was carried out by the new company Sportsco who managed the project. The group known as the Management Company Committee comprising all the Deaf organizations involved in Deaf Village Ireland then agreed to set up a company to run Deaf Village Ireland. This company was set up in June 2012,incorporated in September 2012 and now manages all facilities apart from the sports facilities which are managed by Sportsco.