Dáil rejects application to provide sign language interpreter for Leader's Questions

The Irish Deaf Society says the Dáil will not provide an Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreter when they attend the public gallery in the Dáil to watch Leader's Questions.

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly says he wrote to the Ceann Comhairle's office, to say 100 members of the deaf community wanted to come to leader's questions this Thursday, and they would need an interpreter on the Dáil floor.

Senator Daly said: "It’s a form of discrimination that members of the Deaf community who will be attending Taoiseach’s questions this Thursday, which is their constitutional right, won’t be able to avail of interpretative services.

"It’s a double indignity following the cut in funding last week and it further highlights the disadvantage the Deaf community faces in accessing services which the rest of us take for granted. I would encourage the Ceann Comhairle to reconsider this injustice, and sanction an interpreter."

However, an Oireachtas source says Senator Daly has not followed the procedures of which he has been advised, and there are a number of "small but necessary" administrative steps he knows he needs to take, but has not.

Senator Daly says the office responded by phone that they would only be facilitated in the audio visual room, if they brought their own interpreter, which would cost nearly €200.

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