The Irish Deaf Society seeks to achieve and promote the Equality and Rights of Deaf people in Ireland. On the grounds of the Irish Constitution and Human Rights and international legislation, the ambition of full access to citizenship and society is sought through the empowerment and mobilisation of the Deaf community. With an awareness of their identity and their rights as individuals, Deaf people in Ireland are enabled to celebrate their culture and continue to ensure the upholding of Irish Sign Language recognition and break down the barriers of discrimination.
Our services include:
Education Courses for Deaf Adults
The Deaf Adult Literacy Services (DALS) are funded by the Department of Education and Skills and we provide classes for Deaf people all over Ireland.
We provide day and evening courses for Deaf Adults nationwide. All our courses are taught by Deaf tutors using Irish Sign Language. Our classes are free and run for 30 weeks (September – June).
Irish Sign Language Courses for the hearing community
We offer high standards of teaching and classes at all levels which are recognised by QQI (a service of Quality and Qualifications Ireland).
We teach ISL for every age group at every level with many different topics and materials in classes. Our classes take places at Deaf Village Ireland and in primary and secondary schools, universities, public departments and private business in Ireland.
The IDS Advocacy Service is a unique Deaf-led confidential service which was established in 2004 and provides support and information for Deaf people through their first and preferred language of Irish Sign Language (ISL).
The Service aims to empower Deaf people to recognise discrimination and to promote equality and inclusion. The service bridges the gap that exists for Deaf people in accessing public and private services and information which often tend to exclude and isolate Deaf people.
The core values of the Irish Deaf Society are:
Irish Sign Language (ISL)
Deaf people have the right to use ISL as their primary language, enriched with Deaf culture, where linguistic oppression must be a thing of the past.
Deaf people have the right to live as equal citizens on par with hearing people. Discrimination, which is violation of their rights, is illegal.
Deaf children have the right to be educated in ISL in a bi-lingual environment and Deaf people have the right to full access to all third level institutions.
The provision of qualified ISL interpreters must be utilised, which would enable Deaf people to independently access and participate within the public domain in society.
Deaf people have the right to equal employment opportunities on both a management and professional level.
Quality Living conditions
Deaf people have the right to equitable living standards as the rest of society, where nothing hinders their participation.
Families of Deaf children have the right to receive comprehensive Information with access to the Deaf Community, its culture and language.
Deaf people have the right to represent the Deaf Community on a local level.
Social and political partnership
The government and state agencies must involve Deaf people and Deaf-led organisations in the community, education, health, legal and social fields.