Two pieces of news, both connected, one good, one very bad:

In today’s Irish Times a report on a case that was settled.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1126/1227486583494.html

In short, “the terms of settlement provided that the Minister now recognises ISL as a language in the education of the two children. The Minister has also agreed to support the continuing professional development of teachers at the children’s schools in relation to ISL” I’m not sure how binding this is, but it is sure to have some impact on the recognition of ISL as a language to be used in education. The family involved are said to be very happy and here’s hoping it is a positive development not just for them but for the wider deaf community.

ISL is the first language of many Deaf people, but the shortage of ISL interpreters is a huge issue. the Sign Language Interpreting Service (which is the National Agency for sign lanugage interpretatoin services in Ireland) there were approximately 44 interpreters on their books in mid 2007. Demand far outweighs supply and this is a huge barrier to the inclusion and participation of deaf people in education and work.

Which is why this is such bad news. If CDS loses its funding, the numbers of interpreters will drop and the chances of those children in the aforementioned case getting what they need, or the chances of deaf people in work getting the interpretation services they need, will be greatly reduced.

UPDATE

http://www.irishdeafkids.ie/2008/update-on-tcds-centre-for-deaf-studies-funding/

The Centre for Deaf Studies has had its funding secured. This is a huge relief and very good news.

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