Guidance for Public Bodies on Providing Access for Deaf Irish Sign Language Users

Aims and objectives

The main aim of the research is to design an auditing template for use by public sector bodies, for the purposes of identifying deficiencies in Deaf cultural awareness. Use of the auditing template will allow public sector bodies to assess their capacity to fulfil their duties as set out in the IHREC Act 2014 (Section 42) in respect of Deaf cultural awareness as well as their capacity to support the effective and meaningful implementation of the Irish Sign Language Act 2017 (Section 6).  The purpose of the template will be to support the development of equitable Deaf-friendly public services, towards reducing instances of audism, thereby enabling active citizenship by members of the Irish Deaf Community. The project will: 

  • undertake a review of initiatives in other jurisdictions to support the implementation of Sign Language recognition legislation, to identify best practice
  • co-ordinate a national consultation with the Irish Deaf community to ascertain what constitutes ‘accessibility’ in public services  
  • develop a template for use by public sector bodies, for the purposes of conducting Deaf Cultural Awareness and Accessibility audits

The project is being conducted in partnership with Cork Deaf Association and Kerry Deaf Resource Centre.

Project Outputs

A guide to support public bodies in providing access for deaf Irish Sign Language users was published in January 2021 and can be accessed at the following link: Providing Access For Deaf Irish Sign Language Users

Funder & project duration

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

2018- 2021


Dr Gill Harold (PI)


Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30