The Irish Sign Language Act 2018 was signed into law on Christmas Eve 2018 by President Michael D. Higgins. Senator Daly first introduced this Bill to the House of the Oireachtas in 2013.
The Recognition of Irish Sign Language for the Deaf enshrines the right to access state services in Irish Sign Language the primary Language of the Deaf community in Ireland.
Members of the Irish Deaf Community have been suffering extreme marginalization by the State for some time now. The signing into law by President Michael D Higgins means that Irish deaf citizens will now be able to access State services in their own language.In addition, it puts an onus onto State agencies such as hospitals, schools and the Courts to make services available for the Irish deaf community.
This means so much to many nationwide and this news is the best Christmas present that the State could give to these citizens.This Bill had been hard fought and the rights that it will give members of the Irish deaf community have been hard won but ultimately, this Act is good for society and good for Ireland’s deaf citizens.