Today, marks the 1st anniversary of the passage of the Irish Sign Language Bill through both houses of the Oireachtas. This Bill granted Civil Rights for the 50,000 member of the Deaf Community after the Oireachtas Justice committee said in its report that ‘Recognition of Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community Bill’ was necessary to end the ‘extreme marginalisation’ of the deaf community.
This Bill gives civil rights for the 50,000 Irish Sign Language users in Ireland and puts a duty on state agencies such as hospital A&E, schools and court to provided interpreters for the deaf community. The President signed this Bill into Law on Christmas Eve 2017 making it only the 6th Bill introduced by a senator while in opposition having been signed into law by the President since the enactment of the constitution in 1937.
Speaking about the Bill today Senator Daly said, “It was a momentous achievement for everyone involved and every member of the deaf community should be proud of their work throughout the years to ensure this Bill passed. The passage of the Bill has brought the deaf community and the challenges they face more into the spotlight, but we need to keep working and striving for better inclusion in all parts of society. The deaf community face many challenges in the everyday life and I would call on the Government to keep supporting them and to make Ireland a fair place to live for every one of its citizens. One of the main parts of this Bill includes a 3 year review, which will take place in 2021. I look forward to continuing to work with many Government Departments to ensure this Bill continues to be implemented in full in advance of this review.