Council to increase use of sign language in communications

Meath County Council has undertaken to increase its usage of Irish Sign Language in public communication.

The move follows a motion by Cllr Ronan Moore at a meeting of Meath County Council last week.

“In Ireland, a small but significant number of people are ISL or Irish Sign Language Users. According to research, 5,000 deaf people use ISL and a further 40,000 hard of hearing people also use ISL on some level," said Cllr Moore.

“In response to this, the Government introduced the Irish Sign Language Act in 2017, making ISL an official language of the state. This Act has many provisions but one of which is that "a public body shall do all that is reasonable to ensure that interpretation into Irish Sign Language is provided".

Cllr Moore said that while the Act was a big step forward for ISL users, outside of availing of the services of external assistance to provide Irish Sign Language interpretation when needed, many public bodies have done little else.

“Meath County Council has always prided itself in how we try to make the county as inclusive as possible. I think you can see this again evidenced in both the Council’s response to my motion where they have committed to increasing the usage of ISL in public communication going forward, as well as the unanimous support of my fellow councillors in the chamber”.

“I have spoken to the Council already about the possibility of layering ISL onto some of our key social media video broadcasts as well as the possibility of identifying some of the most visited parts of our websites and producing simple explanatory videos summarising the information with ISL, again, layered onto it,” he said.