Irish Deaf Society (IDS) set up an advocacy service called IDS Deaforward in 2004 with the funds received from Department of Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs when the research "Is there Poverty in Deaf Community" was published by Grehan C. & Conama JB. (2001). This focused on Deaf people in society, for instance the level of poverty within the Deaf community.
We are a Deaf-led advocacy & confidential service,
- to improve Deaf people's quality of life by educating and empowering them about their entitlements and rights.
- to guide Deaf people a sense of independence that they need with valuable information which may assist them to a better life.
- Exclusion is often experienced by Deaf people, and so it is our responsibility to ensure that Deaf community have better access in the mainstream society.
- to educate service providers in order that they may give improved access to the Deaf community to the services that the Deaf community are entitled to.
- to empower Deaf people to take more control of their lives by developing their self confidence and making them aware of their rights.
- to provide support for Deaf clients who are experiencing difficulty in areas of legal, social welfare, education, crime and domestic violence etc. To undertake research projects in order to bring change in areas of discrimination currently being experienced in the Deaf community.
This work is carried through our 'Drop in Centre', workshops and providing clear information on social/health, education and general public information to the Deaf community in their first or preferred language, Irish Sign Language (ISL).