News on Recognition of Irish Sign Language Community Bill 2017

Deaf Access: IT’S NOT OVER YET!

A great speech that must be shared by Professor John Bosco Conama Trinity College Dublin from the Irish Deaf Society. On the occasion of the Recognition of Irish Sign Language Community Bill 2017 completing half it’s journey.

The ISL Bill has passed all stages in the Seanad and is now moved to the Dail. Hopefully it will be signed into law before end of year! That’s half a job done and half to go!

It’s not a perfect bill but it is advanced that far and you know, as a private member bill like this rarely goes beyond the Seanad!

My first feelings this morning!

It has been a very long and torturous journey which I am personally travelling on!

Lost the count of years in it – writing letters, sending and reading emails, reading articles, lobbying key politicians (councillors, TDs, MEPs, ministers, Taoisighs) and political parties, discussing issues and debating with almost everyone (from government ministers to Deaf people In the community here and abroad, family members) , plenty of highs and lows, several false dawns, hopes dashed and revived, attended, organised and chaired countless committee meetings, writing journal articles and book chapters, writing letters to newspapers, interviewed by newspapers television programmes and radio stations, being “deafplained” or lectured by others, leadership being trampled over and fought to get it back, credits granted, denied, misgiven or ignored and overhyped, losing and regaining support, looked down for being unrealistic and ridiculous, begrudged, looked up for achieving things along, countering , resisting and gaining from others’ hearing privileges / saviour complex!

AND at least, writing a doctoral thesis and achieved a doctorate on this very subject!

Yet, here still I am and I have met many, many different people some wonderful, some very supportive, some admittedly awkward, few hostile on this journey and that’s an experience! Friendships lost, faded, fell out, and new friendships gained,

Half of the journey done and here another half to complete! Rest assured, I do not rest on the laurels