TD Name and Address
I am writing to you because I am shocked and worried about the news that Irish Deaf Society faces closure as the Government fails to provide core funding.
The Irish Sign Language Act was passed in 2017 confirming ISL as Ireland's third official state language and declaring the rights of Deaf people to be included in society through the provision of services in their first language ISL. The Government continues to strive for inclusion, however, without funding the IDS inclusion is not going to be achieved. One year later, the Government is allowing the communities only Deaf led national representation and advocacy organisation to close. Not only will this devastate the community and other Deaf organisations but it damages the Government’s ability to commence the Act. IDS services can deliver on the promise of that legislation.
Does the Irish Government support the Deaf community or are we going to continue to be marginalised?
• IDS Advocacy will close - The Advocacy service supports Deaf people with a range of issues including access to information and services, completing forms, ISL interpretation and representation with professionals.
• IDS Deaf Adult Literacy Services (DALS) will close - DALS reach over 300 students a year with a broad range of free classes from photography to the Driving theory test. These lessons build confidence and self-esteem and position students for further study and entering the workforce.
• IDS Irish Sign Language Academy (ISLA) will close - providing paid classes to the hearing community in ISL, clients include companies, corporates and state bodies. ISLA are also working on quality training and tutoring for deaf children and their families through our ISL Home Tuition service. When the Irish Sign Language Act is commenced, providing services in ISL will be a legal requirement and we are positioned to deliver services to support organisations meet that legal demand.
As a public representative in my area I am asking you to raise this issue in Government and find out why funding is not being made available to keep this essential organisation open.
See the discussion on Social media - #SaveIDS.
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