Notice

Irish Sign Language (ISL) Awareness Week 16th—24th September 2017 

THEME: FULL INCLUSION WITH IRISH SIGN LANGUAGE!

Irish Sign Language Awareness Week takes place under the theme “Full Inclusion with Sign Language”. It is in tandem with the 3rd International Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf and believes that full social inclusion of Deaf people is possible when Irish Sign Language is recognised and used widely within our society. In Ireland, ISL Awareness Week kicks off on Saturday 16th September, stressing the importance of Irish Sign Language recognition. The lack of official recognition and promotion of ISL and the fact that Ireland has yet to rectify the UNCRPD is hindering Deaf people’s lives and preventing goals from being achieved in the Deaf community. 

CAMPAIGN KEY MESSAGES: 

BIRTH RIGHT
Based on the principle of Basic Human rights in relation to language acquisition. Deaf children need access to ISL from birth. It enables Deaf children to have full communication with people, improving their cognitive and social skills.

DEAF IDENTITY
Identifies Deaf people as belonging to a cultural and linguistic community, who use ISL as a mother tongue or natural language to communicate. 

ACCESSIBILITY
A key factor in accessibility for Deaf people to public services such as health care, employment, social welfare or any other government information is provision through subtitling and ISL.

EQUAL LANGUAGE
Recognises ISL as a valid linguistic means of communication with its own syntax, morphology, structure and fulfils all features that define a language. A lot of linguistic research from the 1970’s has confirmed sign language as an equal to other languages. 

LIFELONG LEARNING
Access to education, vocational training and ongoing progressional training and development is paramount to getting a job and a wage that allows Deaf people to live independently. 

EQUAL PARTICIPATION
Deaf people need to have equal access to participation in their own personal, public and political areas as everybody else. It is important to ensure that Deaf people have the opportunity to take up leadership roles so that they can advocate for their rights and be involved in all decision making processes concerning Deaf people lives. The slogan “Nothing about Us without Us” reflects this. 

BILINGUAL EDUCATION
Stakeholders are urged to accept the need for bilingual education for Deaf children, using both ISL and written/spoken English in conjunction with each other. Quality bilingual education with a strong emphasis on teaching reading and writing through ISL and spoken English ensures Deaf children can thrive both socially and culturally. 

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Provision of ISL communication and access at work means Deaf people can do almost any job. It is important for Deaf people to achieve secure jobs that reflect their interest and ability. The main barriers to employment arise from inaccessible work environments rather than not being able to hear. 

www.irishdeafsociety.ie