Colour Blue and the Deaf Community

Why is the colour Blue so important to Deaf people and what does it mean?

The colour Blue is so significant to Deaf people, Deaf community and also is the colour of the IDS. Below, we explain why Blue is the chosen colour to represent Deaf people. 

Dark blue was chosen by the World Federation of the Deaf and Deaf associations around the World 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 own language. 

One visual way we mark important dates for the Deaf community is by using the colour blue. We ask people to wear blue, we ask state organisations to light up landmarks in blue for these occasions.

Now that you know why we use the colour blue to represent our language: Irish Sign Language, why don’t you encourage landmarks in your locality to light up blue for our special occasions?  

Annual Calendar of Deaf Community Celebrations 

  • 13 January: Celebrating IDS’ birthday 

An important date for the Deaf community is the 13th of January when we celebrate IDS’s birthday – the day our Society was founded in 1981  

  • 23rd September: Celebrating International Day of Sign Language as part of Irish Sign Language Week and International Week of the Deaf People 

Deaf communities around the world celebrate International Day of Sign Language on 23rd Sept every year. This days falls during International Week of the Deaf people – a week of celebrating the Deaf community which takes place every September. In Ireland, we celebrate ISL Awareness Week which intends to raise awareness of the importance of sign language and the full achievement of human rights of Deaf people

  • 14 December: Celebrating National ISL Day 

On the 14th December 2017, the Irish Sign Language (ISL) Act was passed by the Dáil. 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 Deaf people can participate in society. This celebration is important to the Deaf community and gives us an opportunity to promote ISL and celebrate our achievements as we continue to campaign for changes in law, policy and attitudes in Ireland.

Irish Deaf Society