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Flanagan calls for sign language interpreter in Assembly

4 March, 2015 - by Phil Flanagan

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has called for the Assembly Commission to provide a sign language interpreter for future debates on issues facing people with hearing difficulties. 

Speaking after raising the issue at a meeting of the Employment and Learning Committee, Mr Flanagan said; 

"Action for Hearing Loss told the committee that Stormont was one of the best parliaments in terms of accessibility for people with hearing problems.

“However, this does not extend to providing a sign language interpreter for plenary debates or committee discussions.

“It may not be possible to provide this service on a constant basis, but there is considerable merit in offering it on an initial one-off basis to assess demand among people with hearing difficulties.

“This could be arranged to coincide with a committee motion on issues facing people with hearing difficulties.

“Committee members have agreed to my proposal to write to the Assembly Commission to request this facility be put in place for such a debate and to consider proposing a debate on the issue.

“Deaf and hard of hearing people have every right to be included in the democratic process. They should be afforded the opportunity to understand what MLAs have to say about the issues affecting them." 

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