Take Ten: The Carberrys

Take Ten: The Carberrys

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Belfast, Carnmoney, Newtownabbey, North Belfast




10/08/1087 TXM


12min 41sec




1 inch



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, UTV Archive

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It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Brian Black meets Agnes and John Carberry together with their children, Shanon Paula Linda and Karen, at a shopping mall in North Belfast. Agnes, a teacher at a school for D/deaf children, was born D/deaf and John lost his hearing at the age of five.

John and Agnes discuss the importance of Sign Language and their struggle to get the authorities to recognize it as an official means of communication. Having experienced how educational system often fails D/deaf people, John and Agnes explain how lack of Sign Language-trained teachers and poor communication often leads to disproportionate emphasis placed on speech. This hinders development of other areas such as language and often results in children leaving eaducation earlier and not obtaining higher qualifications. Both Agnes and John continued to work hard to break down the barriers between D/deaf and hearing communities.

After years of campaigning British Sign Language (BSL) and Irish Sign Language (ISL) were officially recognised as minority languages in Northern Ireland in March 2004 for about 4,500 Sign language users of which 3,000 are BSL users, and 1,500 are ISL users.



John Francis Carberry is a Deaf Awareness and Sign Language Trainer working in the sector for more than thirty years.  John works in a freelance capacity for many clients throughout Northern Ireland and on the Sign Language Project in conjunction with the University of Ulster.  Previously John worked for 23 years for Action on Hearing Loss (RNID) and a national body for communication skills with D/deaf people.

He has also served as a committee member on the following organisations: The National Deaf Children's Society (NI), Northern Ireland Disability Council (forerunner of the Equality Commission) and the Ulster Television Regional Advisory Group. John has been a long-serving member of the Board of Trustees and Governors of Jordanstown School for D/deaf and Visually Impaired Children.

In 2009, John Francis Carberry from Carnmoney received a MBE for services to the community in Northern Ireland


Interviewer: Brian Black

Interviewees: Agnes and John Carberry

Interpreter: Janet Beck 



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