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History in the making:
Irish Sign Language is officially recognised

Updated: 16th January 2018 Irish Sign Language is officially recognised

The 14th of December 2017 was an historic day for the Irish Deaf Community. The Dáil passed legislation that gave official recognition to Irish Sign Language for the first time. This was the culmination of a long campaign led by the IDS, and involving a wide range of stakeholders involved in the Deaf Community’s. Irish Sign Language is officially recognised

The new law will be a critical step in eliminating the years of marginalisation experienced by members of the Deaf Community. The Irish Sign Language Act 2017 will give Deaf people the Right to access public services in their native language.

The Act outlines the need for better access to education through sign language, the requirement for more trained sign language interpreters, and provision for a scheme to provide access to interpreting for cultural and social activities.

Under the Act Irish Sign Language (ISL) is designated as a native and independent language that is used as the primary means of communication by over 5,000 members of the Deaf community.

Speaking ahead of the Dáil vote in December, Senator Daly outlined the importance of the Act: “Irish Deaf citizens should be able to access State services in their own language. In addition, it puts an onus on State agencies such as hospitals, schools and the Courts to make services available for the Irish Deaf community.”

“With the President expected to sign the bill into law before Christmas, I am hopeful that its provisions can be put into practice as quickly as possible to ensure that the 50,000 members of the Irish Deaf community have their civil rights protected and secured.”

The Irish Sign Language Act 2017 was signed into law by President Higgins on December 24th 2017.




You can download the ISL Act 2017 here:

ISL Act 2017

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Further reading...

Important Step on road to ISL Recognition

On October 19th 2016 another important step on the road to Irish Sign Language (ISL) recognition was achieved.
Read On… Important Step on road to ISL Recognition

Media Contacts will provide spokespersons to comment on issues relevant to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people on request.

To contact Brendan Lennon; Head of Advocacy DeafHear, click here...




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