In 2018, my Department introduced a new Digital Innovation Programme to encourage Local Authorities to use digital technologies to address issues for the benefit of local communities. A total of €700,000 was allocated to 21 projects arising from two calls for proposals under the Digital Innovation Programme in the second half of 2018.
Under the Programme, €8,000 was awarded to Tipperary County Council for an innovative project, Sign of the Times. With this funding, Tipperary Town Gold Star Disability Awareness Project HSE, working in partnership with a number of specialist agencies in the community, including DeafHear.ie and Tipperary County Council, are designing an interactive learning tool to work with young people and members of the deaf community in Tipperary.
This learning tool will be suitable for use with young people in secondary schools and anyone who has an interest in learning to communicate through Irish Sign Language. The project should be scalable by other Local Authorities in the future.
This project is in the early stages of development, but is expected to be in operation by the end of Quarter 2 this year.
Further details of this, and all of the other projects approved for funding under the Digital Innovation Programme, are available on my Department's website at: https://drcd.gov.ie/about/rural/rural-development/national-broadband-plan/digital-innovation-programme/.