Who we are and what we do

The IDS is the only national Deaf-led representative organisation of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and it serves the interests and welfare of the Deaf community. It provides a number of education, personal and social services to Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, adults, and their families.

The Irish Deaf Society is recognised as a Disabled Peoples Organisation (DPO) under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). IDS are members of the World Federation of the Deaf and the European Union of the Deaf and have consulted with international Deaf representative bodies in relation to a number of societal issues that impact on Deaf people.

There are no definitive statistics on the size of the Deaf community in Ireland, but it is estimated that 5,000 people communicate in Irish Sign Language (ISL) as their primary language together with a community of an estimated 40,000 including family, friends and those working in the Deaf community. The most recent data from the central statistics office show there are over 103,000 people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Ireland. However, not all communicate in ISL as their primary language, or many may not be part of the Deaf community.



IDS Coronavirus ISL Support

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 advocacy@irishdeafsociety.ie or text/call 086 440 1443.

IDS fundraising is seriously impacted by the Coronavirus Emergency. Support us by donating nowYou can also support IDS by joining or renewing your membership on our membership page.

The Scheme to Support National Organisations is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Rural and Community Development”.

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Irish Deaf Society