Celebrate our 4th Anniversary on the 14th of December 2021
On the 14th of December 2017, the Irish Sign Language (ISL) Act was passed by the Dáil. This date was a momentous day as it followed years of hard work and campaigning by the Deaf community, led by the Irish Deaf Society and supported by Senator Mark Daly. The Act recognises Irish Sign Language (ISL) as the native language of Deaf people and used by the Deaf community. The State have a responsibility to provide ISL access to ensure that Deaf people can participate in society. Recently, the good practice of having access in ISL can be exemplified by the presence of ISL/English and Deaf interpreters on RTÉ’s The Late Late Toy Show and during the governmental press briefings. We also noticed the increased presence of interpreters on public webinars in recent months.
To commemorate this milestone for Deaf people in Ireland, the Deaf community now celebrates National ISL Day every year on the 14th of December. This celebration is essential to the Deaf community and allows us to promote ISL and celebrate our achievements as we campaign for changes in law, policy and attitudes in Ireland. Also, we are celebrating our 40th Anniversary this year, but sadly we can’t celebrate the way we hoped due to Covid restrictions.
One visual way we mark these important dates is by using blue. We ask people to wear blue; we ask state organisations to light up landmarks in blue for these occasions. For instance, Trinity College Dublin decided to light up their building in blue colour on the evening of National ISL Day. Blue is also the colour of the IDS, and below we explain why blue is so significant to Deaf people.
Dark blue was chosen by the World Federation of the Deaf and Deaf associations worldwide to represent Deafhood. That means an individual and collective journey to campaign against audism and a focus on the positivity of Deaf identities, including Sign Languages, Deaf Culture and Deaf History. The concept of Deafhood was introduced by Dr Paddy Ladd, who also established the ‘Blue Ribbon’ ceremony to commemorate the experiences of Deaf people around the world. The colour blue also symbolises Sign Language and represents how Deaf communities cherish their language. For more information – you can check out this link: https://www.irishdeafsociety.ie/about/blue/
Now that you know why we use the colour blue to represent ourselves, why don’t you encourage landmarks in your locality to light up blue for our upcoming National ISL Day on the 14th of December! We are very excited to release some videos to celebrate the importance of Irish Sign Language and the memories of 40 years of work.
John Sherwin CEO
Mobile: 089 427 8663
Next Tuesday is National ISL Day. It has been a phenomenal four years since the ISL Act 2017 was passed by Dáil Éireann and signed into law by President Higgins on the 24th of December. It has been a whirlwind four years. The IDS have worked vigorously on the implementation of the Act, which commenced in December 2020. We celebrate this on the 14th of December, alongside the 40th anniversary of the IDS which would have been held on the 13th of January 2021. Unfortunately, due to Covid and the restrictions we couldn’t organise any celebrations such as dinner parties or anything like that. What is important to bear in mind is that the IDS was founded in 1981.
However, what we can do is enjoy a series of ISL videos about the IDS, National ISL day and the 40th anniversary of the IDS. We will hold these on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and our website. The series of videos will include the timeline of the achievements which the ideas have attained from 1981 to 2021. Another video will be Fergus Dunne presenting on his experiences on campaigning and lobbying for Deaf education. Teresa Lynch will speak to the meaning and understanding of ISL. Kay Daly will speak about life with the Deaf Community throughout that time frame. It will be interesting viewing.
If you can at all, wear blue on Tuesday – if you can wear a blue garment, blue nails, any garment with the colour blue, maybe you would even be willing to dye your hair blue! If so, send your photos to email@example.com.
The meaning of the color blue is that it shows our appreciation of Sign Language. If you would like more information on the meaning of blue, we have a link on our website explaining why we use the colour blue –https://www.irishdeafsociety.ie/about/blue/
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Thank you from the team at IDS!
Visit our support page Coronavirus ISL Support for news, ISL translations and links to resources. This section of our website will be a hub for ISL content and we are inviting other organisations to share their information with us and we will add to it.
The IDS is here with you during this difficult time.
Contact our Coronavirus support team by email email@example.com or text/call 086 440 1443.
The Scheme to Support National Organisations is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Rural and Community Development”.