Deaf people in Ireland face “extreme marginalisation” warns an Oireachtas equality committee report.
Equality committee members with people from Irish Sign Language at the launch of an ISL recognition report. The report, which comes the week after the discovery of the bodies of deaf brothers Daniel and William McCarthy at their home in Dublin, calls on the Government to officially recognise Irish Sign Language (ISL).
Lack of official recognition for ISL means deaf people’s right to communication is being denied says the Irish Deaf Society.
“The deaths of the McCarthy Brothers in Bluebell, Dublin has unfortunately highlighted in recent weeks the devastating effects due to the lack of support these brothers could have availed of,” said Irish Deaf Society chairwoman, Lianne Quigley.
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There are 5,000 deaf people using ISL on a daily basis with an additional 35,000 hearing people using it daily, said Irish Deaf Society chief executive, Eddie Redmond: “ISL is an innate and integral part of their personality. There is no national register of ISL interpreters and ISL teachers, and furthermore there are no accreditation or monitoring systems. We need to promote our Irish Sign Language and the importance of social inclusion by providing deaf awareness training for any communities, employment and health services.”
Accessing public services, medical information and online services are just some of the examples of social exclusion members of the deaf community face on a daily basis says Dr John Bosco Conama, a professor in deaf studies at Trinity College Dublin and a member of the deaf community.