Who we are and what we do

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

The Irish Deaf Society leads the ISL Act Cross Community Group, which is a group of National organisations and service providers working in the Deaf community. We consult with this group in relation to topics of interest to Deaf people including the ISL Act and the Census including this submission. This group includes the following members: Bridge Interpreting, Centre for Deaf Studies (CDS) TCD, Chime, Council of ISL Interpreters of Ireland (CISLI), Council of ISL Teachers (CISLT), Greenbow LGBTQ+, Irish Deaf Research Network (IDRN), Irish Deaf Youth Association (IDYA), National Deaf Women of Ireland (NDWI), Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS).

There are no accurate 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 consider themselves to be part of the Deaf community. The IDS use the term Deaf to cover all Deaf people, regardless of the degree of hearing they have.



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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