January 2024

Community News: January 2024

Development and Engagement of National Council Members 

In the initial planning phase, the CEO, Advocacy Manager, and Advocacy Project Officer refined the NCM strategy for 2024. They focused on governance, policy updates, and compliance. They also explored ways to improve communication, like translating information into Irish Sign Language and creating a dedicated website portal. Discussions included training, collaboration, and budget considerations, showing positive progress in NCM planning. 

Mental Health Working Group 

The Advocacy Manager will have a meeting with Hubert Klein, an independent Deaf advisor from the UK, regarding mental health projects. The purpose is to seek advice on specific issues outlined in the position paper, such as evidence, policies, and recommendations. The insights gained from this meeting will be used for advocacy purposes, presentations to policymakers, and will be shared in our Mental Health Working Group meeting. 

Deaf Awareness Training 

We’ve been busy! After our January session, we’re now setting up more Deaf Awareness Training workshops with different hearing  organisations in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for updates! 

Social Media 

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as E-Info and our website, are continuously updated with information for both the Deaf community and the wider hearing society. We are still working on the website to include features such as community news and more. 

Dr. Noel O’Connell will be hosting the Breaking the Barriers conference at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) on Green St. The conference aims to launch a policy paper based on research findings regarding the negative experiences of Deaf individuals in the workplace and job search process. For more information and to book tickets, please visit Eventbrite. The conference is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10th, from 2 pm to 5:30 pm.  

NDA/DCEDIY National Disability Strategy online consultations 

After Ireland ratified the UNCRPD, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth (DCEDIY) began work on the National Disability Strategy. 

The National Disability Authority (NDA) has been gathering input from people with disabilities to address their challenges and promote inclusion in society. Online focus groups were conducted in November 2023, covering topics such as transportation, employment, and education. These discussions brought to light issues including accessibility, societal attitudes, and the necessity for improved support tools. The IDS set up separate groups for Deaf people and shared relevant information. 

Meeting with ComReg (they oversee TV, radio, and postal services.) 

Coimisiún na Meán (CNM) is taking over from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. 

CNM pays close attention to subtitle quality. Next year, they will check if everyone is following Access Rules. CNM wants to ensure that content funded by the Sound & Vision scheme is easy for everyone to access. 

IDS hopes CNM will do a better job than the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. 

DPO Network  

The Irish Deaf Society is part of the DPO Network, a group of five national organisations in Ireland working together to ensure the full implementation of disability rights. We rely on the experiences and expertise of disabled people to address issues across society. The DPO Network campaign for human rights because disabled people face exclusion, inequality, and discrimination not because of their disability, but because of economic, cultural, social, and political barriers in society.  

Visit www.dponetwork.ie to learn more. 

  • As I Am – an organization that advocates for people with autism in Ireland 
  • Disabled Women Ireland (DWI) 
  • Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) 
  • Irish Deaf Society (IDS) 
  • National Platform of Self Advocates 

Google ADC Meeting  

We recently attended a meeting at Google’s Accessibility Discovery Centre (ADC). They showed us how they’re making technology more accessible, including for people with disabilities. We talked about features like subtitles and live transcripts for the Deaf community, stressing the importance of Irish Sign Language. Google is committed to making technology inclusive for everyone. They’ll be launching the ADC soon and will share more details later. 


The HSE Accessible Information Meeting focused on creating accessible resources for General Practitioners (GPs) to share with people with disabilities. They completed the voiceover/read-through of a leaflet with a videographer and plan to film the video with a Deaf ISL interpreter on a plain background.  

CDA Deafblind Working Group 

The Advocacy Officer participated in an online meeting on January 15th with other Deafblind groups – NCBI and Anne Sullivan Foundation. The meeting was chaired by the Cork Deaf Association. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the following: 

  • Training for interpreters to work with Deafblind individuals. 
  • Position paper for the development of specific work projects involving Deafblind individuals. 
  • Personal Assistant/Communication Support Workers 


IDS Charity Shops are seeking donations. 

Your donations make a big difference! Whether it’s clothing, household items, or anything else in good condition, your contributions directly support our IDS charity shops. 

We have locations in Ashbourne and Drogheda. You can drop off donations at the IDS office. For more information, visit our donation page on the website. 

Irish Deaf Society