Over the years, the lights at UCC’s Quad have turned different colours in solidarity with many causes and communities.
This year they will turn blue on Saturday to mark the second anniversary of the legal recognition of Irish Sign Language.
The Irish Sign Language Act was signed into law on 24th December 2017, but the final Dáil debate on the legislation was held on 14th December.
It was on that day that the Deaf community knew for sure that the law would be enacted and that history would be made. There were joyous celebrations as a result, and since then 14th December is remembered as Irish Sign Language Day.
Implementation of the ISL Act is progressing. Much to the delight of the Deaf community, this year for the first time, the Late Late Toy Show was available in Irish Sign Language on RTÉ Player and RTÉ News Now through live interpretation.
ISL is used by approximately 5,000 Deaf people in Ireland, but it is estimated that there may be up to another 40,000 hearing people who use the language regularly. This number includes Deaf children and hearing children with Deaf relatives, such as siblings or parents. ISL is very popular as an extra activity for primary school children and is a subject on the Leaving Cert Applied curriculum.
A small number of events are being held in Cork this year for Irish Sign Language Day: Cork Deaf Club will host an event at Tequila Jacks on the Boardwalk, and the Cork Deaf Community Choir and an ISL interpreter will be present at the evening mass at St. Mary’s Church, Mallow.