Deafness awareness week begins


The Government was today urged to officially recognise sign language to guarantee basic human rights for the deaf.

Marking its awareness week, the Irish Deaf Society (IDS) said signing had to be given proper status to ensure its members secured the best education, communication and employment opportunities.

There are more than 50 countries worldwide, including those in the developing countries that recognise sign languages as official languages. Ireland is not one of them.

The IDS said it has worked with the Government on a number of initiatives to promote sign language over the last few years including projects involving literacy and advocacy.

But the society claimed a significant gap remains with the lack of formal recognition in the Constitution. The IDS awareness week runs from September today until next Friday.

Marking the campaign, the society will hold its Pride March through Dublin from Parnell Square to Wood Quay.