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Irish Deaf.com is a specialist organisation that empowers the Deaf community through support and harmonises relationship with the wider society through information.
About Irish Deaf.com
Irish Deaf.com (IDC) was established in 2003 to provide the community support to Deaf organisations, enabling Deaf and hard of hearing people to be involved with the Deaf community activities. This prevents an isolation risk, which empowers the Deaf and hard of hearing to run their own community.
The IDC is a leading specialist organisation which supports 25 deaf and disability organisations through a plethora of information and support services. One of the principal aims of the IDC is to educate pertinent marginalised communities which comprise many different groups of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people such as;
The purpose in the education of self-knowledge and awareness, by way of understanding the existence of Deaf Heritage, Deaf Culture, Deaf Language/customs, is put in place to reinforce the empowerment of aforementioned marginalised communities. It is hoped that in order to further impact and strengthen the identity of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing communities, the research on ‘Post-Colonialism’ (Author: Noel O’Connell, 2008) will be put in place too.
The extract of one of the paragraphs from the dissertation on Post-Colonialism is as follows:
“The term ‘Post-Colonialism’ refers to the idea of empowerment for deaf people. The colonialism concept is used to define the educational experiences of deaf people under Oralism. It is argued that oralism and colonialism are similar in the way that control was used both mentally and physically. Deaf children were colonised physically when they were punished for use of sign language. Their bodily behaviours were regulated to conform to hearing people’s values and customs. They were also mentally colonised in the way that their thoughts, ideas and belief systems were controlled to conform to hearing people’s thoughts, ideas and beliefs. Their minds were programmed to become a replica of hearing minds.
In post-colonialism, through the education of self-knowledge and awareness, deaf people as adults try to de-colonise their minds and are free to use sign language. They are able to empower themselves through various factors which oppose the ideology of oralism. For example, oralism supports the idea that sign language should not be used, but deaf people continue to use sign language when they finish school. Deaf people subvert oralism by striving to protect their culture and language. The IDS (Irish Deaf Society) is the best example of this. Also the Trinity College Dublin Centre for Deaf Studies does research on sign language which is contradictory to the philosophy of oralism”.
The thesis concludes that deaf people become empowered when they communicate in sign language, teach the language to hearing people, fight to protect the language and deaf culture, get involved in activism to promote the language. Oralism on the other hand disempowers deaf people because it denies them a first language. The result is poor literacy, poverty, unemployment or low paid employment.
When acquiring a new strong sense of selfhood, it is anticipated that this will enable aforementioned disenfranchised communities to assert their status in the wider populace.
The objectives of Irish Deaf.com are as follows;
Irish Deaf.com service
The IDC strives to endeavour the continued expansion of a plethora of existent services which consist of:
IDC is run by a strong team of manager, administrator, assistants, fundraiser and public relations. IDC is expanding to include consultancy and research that would support the Deaf community in Ireland.