– Saturday 23rd Sept 2023

International Day of Sign Languages:

A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere 

We were honored to have Minister Norma Foley join us during International Week of Deaf People to show her unwavering support for sign language rights. In her video message, Minister Foley highlighted the remarkable progress made in the integration of Irish Sign Language (ISL) within our educational system. She announced that 105 primary schools are set to participate in the ‘Say Yes to Languages Primary Sampler Module’ for 2023/2024, with the intention to incorporate ISL. This module, supported by the Department of Education, empowers schools with resources and grants to make ISL a part of their curriculum. Minister Foley’s commitment to inclusive education is an inspiring testament to the ongoing efforts to ensure equitable access to education for all learners.

Norma Foley - Minister for Education and TD for Kerry

Transcript: Hello to you all. It is both an honour and a privilege to be involved in supporting the International Week of Deaf People and the International Day of Sign Languages.

I would like to take this moment to acknowledge all those in our school communities who use sign language on a daily basis, either as a first language or as a means of communication. This is an important week to highlight, celebrate and indeed showcase the use of sign language in our school communities.

I am so pleased to say that 105 primary schools participating in the Say Yes to Languages Primary Sampler Module for 2023/2024 intend to use Irish Sign Language. The module is eight weeks long and a grant of up to €1,600 is provided to participating schools. Training and resources have been provided by the Post Primary Languages Ireland on behalf of the Department of Education.

I have visited many, many schools over the past number of months and I have seen firsthand the impact that ISL has had on our school communities.

It is the absolute aim of my department that every child has access to equitable education and that each learner feels safe and happy in the school environment at every stage. The curriculum at primary and post-primary is for all learners from all backgrounds regardless of ability, gender, socioeconomic background, race, or creed. It aims to foster inclusivity, equality, and diversity.

The Department of Education will continue to provide a wide range of supports for students and families, such as additional teachers, ISL teachers, special needs assistants and professional development, as well as access to ISL home tuition grants, assistive technology, and other supports.

The National Council for Special Education also employs visiting teachers who support children and young people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Following the introduction of the newborn screening programme, visiting teachers also provide valuable early intervention support in the home to babies and their families.

It is an exciting time for sign language, and I look forward to working with the deaf and hard of hearing community in order to ensure that all children have equitable and inclusive access to education. I wish you every success, support, and celebration during this, the International Week of the Deaf.

Thank you.

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National Irish Sign language (ISL) Coffee Morning Challenge

On the day of International Day of Sign Languages, we celebrated with the National ISL Coffee Morning Challenge. This heartwarming event captured the spirit of 'A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere.' Embracing the beauty of Irish Sign Language (ISL). Coffee connoisseurs learned new signs, exchanged conversations, and showcased their ISL prowess while enjoying a cup of coffee. This was a shining testament to the unity and inclusivity that ISL brings to our diverse communities. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated and made this day a resounding success. We are especially thankful to Insomnia Coffee Company for their collaboration and support in making this event possible

Elevate your coffee journey with a touch of inclusivity! Explore our collection of short Irish Sign Language (ISL) videos, designed to add a special flavor to your ordering experience. Discover new signs and join us in fostering a more inclusive and accessible space—one coffee at a time. Let's sign, sip, and savor together!

National Irish Sign language (ISL) parkrun Challenge

Copyright: https://www.facebook.com/parkrun

Celebrating International Day of Sign Languages, we joined hands with Parkrun Ireland for a fantastic ISL awareness initiative. Participants came together at various Parkrun locations, each step symbolizing our collective journey towards 'A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere.' Amidst the scenic landscapes, our community learned and practiced Irish Sign Language, fostering a sense of unity and understanding. We want to express our deepest appreciation to Parkrun Ireland for their unwavering support in raising ISL awareness and promoting inclusivity within our society.

Nine News

During International Week of Deaf People, RTE Nine News shone a spotlight on the importance of sign languages. In commemoration of the week, they illuminated the iconic RTE sign in vibrant blue, symbolizing unity and support for the Deaf community. This visual gesture, featured on Saturday's Nine O'Clock News, highlighted the significance of sign languages and the ongoing efforts to raise awareness and promote inclusivity.

Copyright: © RTÉ 2023

Transcript: On this International Day of Sign Languages, as many public buildings are illuminated in the colour BLUE,
as part of ISL Awareness Week, from all the team here, goodnight.

Irish Deaf Society