Sign language motion welcome but Government must act - Ní Riada
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the passing of a motion through the European Parliament on Sign Language.
Speaking during the debate Ms Ní Riada said:
´´I welcome this resolution as it is a progressive step towards full language equality. If properly implemented it will enable members of our Deaf Community to better participate in society and anything that helps enable individuals to participate with more ease and confidence, I would obviously welcome."
The Ireland South representative continued by calling on the Irish Government to now act, not only on the motion that was passed by the European Parliament but the Bill on Irish Sign Language (ISL) Recognition that was passed in the Seanad several weeks ago.
´´The Irish government must now act and legislate for ISL to become a fully recognised language with all the rights that come with that. ISL users have their own unique culture and customs. We must embrace and support this unique aspect of Irish culture so that our entire Irish Sign Language Community know they are an important and valued part of our society. "
Ms Ní Riada also called on the Irish Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
´´It is high time that Irish State ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the fact it remains unratified nine years after it was signed is nothing short of shameful.
"The convention requires signatories to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law. The state has had almost a decade to work out what exactly its issue with this is.
"It is vital for the Deaf Community to have the same access to public services, in particular health and education, that so many of us take for granted.
"The only thing stopping ISL getting official status is the lack of political will from successive governments. If this government cannot muster that will then pressure needs to be applied to push them to do the right thing."