Deaf Community

The Recognition of Irish Sign Language Bill for the Deaf Community Bill, 2016

This Bill is making its way through the Seanad at present. It is sponsored by Fianna Fáil, but has cross-party support.

It is expected that the Bill will pass the fourth stage this month (October 2017). Once it has completed all five stages in the Seanad, the Bill must go through another five stages in the Dáil in order to become law.

The Irish Deaf Society has been campaigning since the 1980s for ISL (Irish Sign Language) to be recognised as an official language of the state.

Back in 1988 Irish MEP Eileen Lemass put forward a EU resolution that all member states recognise their own sign language/s. Since then many countries have done just that (including Iceland, Finland, UK (which recognises in ISL in Northern Ireland), Spain, Malta, etc.), but not Ireland.

Please support the IDS campaign for ISL recognition, and the Bill, by contacting your local public representative – senator and/or TD – and telling them that ISL is important to you.

 

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