An innovative project in Cabra, Dublin will transform the lives of deaf people in Ireland.
The £14 million Deaf Village Project is a collaborative community development initiative that has been promoted by the Catholic Institute for Deaf People (CIDP) in partnership with the main deaf organisations in Ireland.
The Catholic Institute for Deaf People was established in 1845 to provide educational, residential and pastoral care for deaf children. The objective of the Deaf Village project is to create an environment where deaf people can relax, play and worship in a centre that will support the interaction of deaf people as a community and within the wider Irish society.
Major deaf organisations that are involved with the project include: DeafHear.ie, Irish Deaf Society, Deaf Sports Association and the Irish Deaf Youth Association amongst others.
Included in the scheme is the construction of a new administration centre and Lifelong Learning centre and the provision of social amenities. In addition, there will be a sports centre with a 25-metre swimming pool, children’s pool, gym, sports hall and all-weather football pitches.
All of the buildings have been designed with the need to communicate in mind. As a result, the buildings are spacious and feature minimum blockage in order to enable sign language usage.
Liam O’Dwyer, Catholic Institute for Deaf People, said:
“This project will ensure that the deaf community in Ireland has a place of its own, along with a community and social centre. It is very much a community development project, and one that once complete will be managed by the deaf community itself.”
The Deaf Village project will bring considerable benefits to the deaf community through access to new sports, recreational and community amenities. Although the facilities have been designed with the deaf community in mind, the Village will also share the amenities with the local community.
Phase One of the project comprises the construction of the village, whilst Phase Two and Three will include the amalgamation of the deaf schools and the relocation of St Josephs Home for the elderly deaf from Stillorgan.
Main contractor for the project is John Sisk & Son and the architect is O’Mahony Pike Architects.
The project is scheduled for completion in July 2012.