Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (551)

Clare Daly


551. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the progress made to enact the Irish Sign Language Act 2017. [52035/18]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Irish Sign Language Act, 2017 was signed into law in December 2017 and recognises Irish Sign Language as a native and independent language.

Section 9 of the Irish Sign Language Act, 2017 provides that the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, provide funds to  facilitate users of Irish Sign Language to access social, educational, and cultural events and services (including medical) and other activities as specified in guidelines made by the Minister.

The Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS), which is mainly funded by the Citizens Information Board(CIB) has prepared draft guidelines for how such a scheme might operate and these guidelines have been submitted to CIB and are under active consideration.

When CIB have completed this task, the guidelines will be submitted to me for approval, as is required under the provisions of the Act. Once approved, a scheme will be piloted by SLIS and the outcome of the pilot will inform further more detailed proposals and revised guidelines, as may be required, which will, in turn, inform future annual funding requirements for such a scheme.