Fianna Fáil Senator, Mark Daly has said that the additional funding being allocated for increasing the number of Sign Language Interpreters must be matched with a commitment to pass the Sign Language Recognition Bill by both Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as possible.
Senator Daly made the call following the publication of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 by Minister Finian McGrath.
“It is very welcome that the Minister has committed to increasing funding additional funding to enable the Sign Language Interpreting Service hire additional trained Sign Language and Deaf Interpreters.
“In addition, ensuring that all interpreters are able to provide a high quality service through the establishment of a quality-assurance and registration scheme, and providing on-going professional training and development will be welcomed by the Irish Deaf community.
“However, this funding for vital services must be matched with a commitment to deliver on the civil rights of the Irish Deaf community and allow them engage officially with the Irish state in their own language, Irish Sign Language.
“For the last number of months, I have been working with the Irish Deaf community, and the Government to get the best possible bill passed to enshrine their rights.
“The Sign Language Recognition Bill passed Committee Stage in the Seanad last month, and I have received confirmation from the Seanad Office that Report and Final Stage will be taken as soon as the Seanad reconvenes in September.
“The Government must commit to providing government time in the Dáil to ensure that it passes its legislative processes as quickly as possible so that it can be implemented as quickly as possible.
“The Irish Deaf community should not be forced to wait any longer. They have waited long enough, and now is the time for all of us to work together to pass this bill, and make good on our commitment to them,” concluded Daly.