DeafHear Regional News

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Deaf man swims channel
in support of ISL recognition.

Posted: 17th August 2017


Congratulations to Wesley Nolan, a member of the Deaf Community who swam the English Channel in a 16 hour marathon which began in the early hours of Monday morning. Deaf man swims channel in support of ISL recognition.Wesley is originally from Santry in Dublin, and he was swimming to raise funds for the Irish Deaf Society’s campaign for the official recognition of Irish Sign Langauge (ISL).

Wesley left Dover at 2.45am on Monday morning and arrived at Cap Blanc Nez south of Calais at 7.21pm. The distance between Dover and Calais is 34km in a straight line, but the current took him in an S shape across the channel so by the end he had swam 61km.

Great shape!

Apparently Wesley was in remarkably good shape for someone who had endured such a punishing swim! Stuart Gleeson, the skipper of the Sea Leopard, a vessel which accompanied Wesley on the swim said “He’s a legend, he’s done really well.

He’s in good nick for a guy who has spent so long in the water.”

In fact Wesley climbed out of the water, had a glass of champagne to celebrate his achievement and then promptly fell asleep!

ISL Campaign

Wesley’s swim was in support of the ISL recognition campaign. ISL is the language used by members of the Deaf Community in Ireland, but is not officially recognised by the State. He believes that the Government needs to introduce the access–to–work scheme for Deaf people which currently operates in Britain, where he lives and works.

On his FaceBook page, he explains that the access–to–work scheme in the UK “has allowed me to use interpreters in the workplace, all paid for by the government. Because there are no language barriers between me and my colleagues, I feel equal at work – and this has allowed me to contribute in the workplace and get promoted.”

“I’m all too aware that my deaf friends and peers in Ireland have not been given the same opportunities at work. Language barriers still remain in the workplace – and in hospitals, GP clinics, in schools and so on. I strongly believe that to change this, Irish Sign Language has to be recognised.”


Read more about the ISL Recognition Campaign: e
Posted: October 2016 ComReg give green light to new Text Relay service

Source: Irish Times




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