Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD welcomes start of Irish Sign Language Awareness Week
Today Monday 18th September marks the beginning of Irish Sign Language Awareness Week which in tandem with International Week of the Deaf is a week-long celebration of sign languages and deaf communities around the world.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson for Disability Rights and Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality said that this is a particularly important week in Ireland as Irish Sign Language has yet to be recognised as an official language.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
“Last October, in my capacity as Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality, I launched a report fully endorsing the need for the formal recognition of Irish Sign Language (ISL).
"Sinn Féin have long supported the campaign by the Irish Deaf Society and campaigners for official recognition as we recognise the importance of ISL to the Irish Deaf Community, their families and friends.
"Sinn Féin is fully committed to supporting the passage of ISL recognition legislation. It is an incredibly important piece of legislation for the rights and entitlements of citizens who are deaf.
"I will continue to do my utmost to ensure that it is recognised as an official language at the earliest date possible.
“I welcome comments today by the Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath T.D., that he expects the ISL Bill to be signed into law in a matter of weeks. I hope that the Minister sticks to his word."