Deaf Community Celebrates One Year Anniversary of ISL Act
The Deaf community is celebrating the first anniversary of the Irish Sign Language Act (ISL) today.
On the 14th of December 2017 the Irish Sign Language Bill passed all stages in the Oireachtas, and the President signed the Bill into law on December 31st. A celebration was held in DVI. Students from Holy Family School made a presentation to the IDS to mark the event.
Following the introduction of the ISL Act, there have been improvements in some areas. For example, there was ISL interpretation on RTE of emergency updates during the storms earlier in the year, while the party leaders speeches at Ard Fheiseanna were broadcast with ISL presentation live on RTE News Now for the first time.
However, much work remains to fully implement the Act, including sections on education and access to social and cultural activities, the so called ‘voucher system’. A pilot scheme for the voucher system was due to happen in late 2018, but is now delayed until sometime in 2019.
Sadly, there are still many examples of Deaf citizens not being able to access public services, and more ISL interpreters and a quality assurance system is needed.
But Ministers have reported some progress in moving these issues forward; to date, this has not yet resulted in changes on the ground. Hopefully we will see greater progress in 2019 that will enable Deaf people to exercise their citizen rights in full.
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