Irish Sign Language (ISL) finally recognised by the Irish Government

It is difficult to believe that in 1988, Irish MEP Eileen Lemass presented a resolution on sign languages which was unanimously passed in the European parliament recognising the sign languages of member states as official languages. Consecutive Irish Governments had ignored (until today that is) the plight of the Irish Deaf community and need to recognise Irish Sign Language despite many countries affording it the status it truly deserves.

Without legal protections Deaf people face uncertain and limited access to society. From access to education and healthcare, to interpreting standards and television programming, legal recognition will go a long way towards removing barriers that exclude Deaf people on a day-to-day basis. Irish Sign Language has become a keystone for achieving Equality for Deaf people, without which places Deaf people at social, economic, and cultural disadvantage.

But today is not a day to speak or sign in a negative light. A gigantic leap has been made. The Deaf and Irish Sign Language community has received an early Christmas present  as the Irish Government has just passed The Irish Sign Language Bill, presented by Senator Mark Daly, in Dáil Eireann. Another page in Irish history and culture has been written.

In this very short announcement, we are proud to be associated with the Deaf community in which we work and live, and offer our heartiest congratulations to the Irish Deaf Society, the Irish Sign Language Recognition Committee and its Chair Dr. John Bosco Conama from the Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin and of course the Irish Deaf and Sign Language Community who have worked tirelessly to make this day happen.

It is through awareness that knowledge is acquired. It is through knowledge that attitudes shift. It is through attitudes that behaviour changes.

 Please keep tweeting #YestoISL. #ProudOfISL and tag: @haarissheikh @igimedia @IrishDeafSoc @ISLRecognition


The DESIGNS Project – 2017-2019

We wasted no time in the new year and launched our brand new education and training project called DESIGNS.

The DESIGNS project brings together partners from 4 EU countries who are renowned experts in the fields of Employment, Education and Training, Sign Language Interpreting and Training, and Deaf community advocacy. The overall aim of the project is to create VET and CPD training resources and exchange best practices across Europe to facilitate greater participation of Deaf sign language users in employment.

Our expert partners include:

  • Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited
  • European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters (efsli)
  • European Union of the Deaf (EUD)
  • University of Humbolt of Berlin
  • The Centre for Deaf Studies (CDS), Trinity College Dublin
  • Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD), and
  • Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS), Heriot-Watt University.

The meeting of the international partners took place in Deaf Village Ireland in January, followed by the first in a series of Town Hall sessions, which was streamed and watched live by 8,000 viewers and with an additional 11,000 viewers watching the session after the event on Facebook. The event – with 11 speakers, generated much international interest from around the globe, and the session ended with an exciting questions and answers session moderated by the Irish Deaf Society’s chairman, Eddie Redmond.

Over the next 24 months some of the other results we now look forward to launching are a series of handbooks for the employers in all partner countries, a comprehensive online course, masterclasses for interpreters and the deaf community and a research documentary which features experiences of Deaf job seekers, policy makers and employers. efsli has been working on developing a template of a portfolio of competencies which SLIs can use to record their continuous professional development (CPD) activities, and we look forward to sharing this with you in the very near future. The Irish team will be on a diplomatic mission in May and will be sharing the DESIGNS vision and meeting consular officials of the Balkan states in Belgrade.

As the project progresses, do check in with our team and as always – if you would like to get involved in any shape or form – drop us an email

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @designsproject and do visit the website www.designsproject.eu


JUSTISIGNS project comes to a close.


It is difficult to believe that some thirty months ago our expert project team met to consider just how JUSTISIGNS would shape up and whether and what we do as a consortium could make a difference to the society in which we live and the communities that we serve.

We have achieved so much in a relatively short period and there is much to be proud of.  JUSTISIGNS has laid a solid foundation for the development of professional skills of sign language interpreters working in legal settings and achieved commendable results, which we recently presented alongside distinguished partners and panelists at the European Parliament on 27th April 2016. Engagement with our stakeholders has been wide, and profound. Contributions from the Deaf community, the interpreting professionals, the police forces and legal professionals from each partner countries has been significant. JUSTISIGNS has grown its own legs and we are confident that the resources that we have collectively produced will bring many benefits well beyond the life-cycle of the project and for many years to come.  JUSTISIGNS represents a further step forward. Our academic partners created cutting-edge and innovative content. efsli and EULITA have engaged in extensive dissemination of information through their networks and social media channels. We also pay tribute to all the professionals who have been involved in developing the various project outputs. Expertise, professional knowledge and invaluable human resources have been the key to the success of JUSTISIGNS. We are grateful for every contribution – whether it was tweeting our results, participating at training events or providing us guidance and support.

I would also like to acknowledge our partners and the teams from:

  • Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited
  • KU Leuven (Faculty of Arts, Campus Antwerp)
  • EULITA, the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association
  • The Centre for Deaf Studies (CDS), Trinity College Dublin
  • The University of Applied Sciences for Special Needs Education (HfH, Switzerland)
  • Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS), Heriot-Watt University

The commitment and capability of the project’s partners have contributed to JUSTISIGNS’ remarkable results. JUSTISIGNS has evolved through a series of events, seminars, workshops and evidence-based research which has guided the development of the training resources. In addition, we are continuing to work with our stakeholders to provide advice and training, we are planning to roll out the JUSTISIGNS course to new territories and we are achieving success in securing presentations at conferences throughout 2016 and 2017.

Some of the other results we now look forward to launching are a series of handbooks for the police forces in all partner countries, a comprehensive online course for legal professionals, interpreters and the deaf community and a research documentary which features experiences of legal professionals, policy makers, educators and the Deaf community. efsli has been working on developing a template of a portfolio of competencies which SLIs can use to record their continuous professional development (CPD) activities, and we look forward to sharing this with you in the very near future.

We hope you will enjoy this short video and find it inspiring with new food for thought for future achievements and ongoing collaboration with us.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @JUSTISIGNS and do visit the website http://www.justisigns.com


100 Years exactly since the reading of the 1916 Proclamation – and now in Irish Sign Language


1916 Proclamation in Irish Sign Language on YouTube with optional subtitles

1916 Proclamation in Irish Sign Language on YouTube with subtitles

Download the 1916 Proclamation text here


While the centenary commemoration of the 1916 Proclamation was marked on Easter Monday 28th March this year, the actual reading of the  1916 Proclamation was on 24th April 1916, shortly after noon. Today is a day to be celebrated in Ireland.

The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme commissioned Interesource Group to produce the translated video to ensure that alongside the reading of the 1916 Proclamation which guarantees “equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens” that the Irish Sign Language using community would have full access to the 1916 Proclamation in their own language. This facilitates full participation of Deaf citizens on what will be an historic day. This is extremely important as Deaf citizens are continually excluded from daily participation in all walks of life, and this impinges on the opportunity to engage as full citizens. One of the reasons for this is the fact that ISL is not legally recognised or protected in Ireland as an official language of the State, a fact that increasingly marks us out from our European and International counterparts.

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The Launch of the Official 1916 Proclamation in Irish Sign Language


1916 Proclamation in Irish Sign Language on YouTube with optional subtitles

1916 Proclamation in Irish Sign Language on YouTube with subtitles

Download the 1916 Proclamation text here


The Irish Deaf Society, the Centre for Deaf Studies at Trinity College Dublin and Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited work closely on many educational projects and for the 1916 Proclamation Translation project, we convened a small team of translators and interpreters to work on the translation, filming and production of the text. Because Irish Sign Language has no written form, the digital version is a de facto translation: like written translations, it is highly prepared and each element is considered in terms of formality, context, meaning and political resonance. The visual quality of the translator signing has to be crisp and clear – to do otherwise renders the translation ‘inaudible’ for an audience for whom visual access is key. And access to this key historical text is the primary goal of this work.

The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme commissioned Interesource Group to produce the translated video to ensure that alongside the reading of the 1916 Proclamation which guarantees “equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens” that the Irish Sign Language using community would have full access to the 1916 Proclamation in their own language. This facilitates full participation of Deaf citizens on what will be an historic day. This is extremely important as Deaf citizens are continually excluded from daily participation in all walks of life, and this impinges on the opportunity to engage as full citizens. One of the reasons for this is the fact that ISL is not legally recognised or protected in Ireland as an official language of the State, a fact that increasingly marks us out from our European and International counterparts.

Today, the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Professor Patrick Prendergast, launched a collection of 17 translations of the 1916 Proclamation in the languages taught at the College which includes Irish Sign Language.  The translation of the Official 1916 Proclamation in ISL translation as seen here will also be available on websites across the country.

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Commemorating International Mother Language Day – Irish Sign Language to air on NEWSTALK 106 -108fm

FOR ISL LINK – CLICK HERE

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Dil Wickremasinghe

To commemorate International Mother Language Day, Interesource Group is delighted to be a producer and co-sponsor of the filming of the Irish Sign Language broadcast of a series of interviews aired during the Global Village Saturday night slot, hosted by Dil Wickremasinghe. DOWNLOAD POSTER HERE

This broadcast discusses Irish Sign Language. Experts from Trinity College Dublin’s Centre for Deaf Studies give their views on the recognition of the language in Ireland and what it means for the Irish Deaf community with views from Professor Lorraine Leeson and Dr John Bosco Conama. Dil discusses raising a child with a Deaf mother and also speaks to her hearing child who is a CODA (Children of Deaf Adult). She also explores early child language acquisition with a mother of two Deaf children.

Interesource Group is proud to be a sponsor along with the Centre for Deaf Studies, Bridge Interpreting and Sign Language Interpreting Service.

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European Language Label 2013 for MEDISIGNS Project

_MG_0141The European Language Label is an award for innovative language-learning projects. It rewards creative ways to improve the quality of language teaching, motivate learners and make the best of available resources.

Winning projects must demonstrate creative thinking and lead to improved teaching provision and learner achievement. They must be innovative, effective and replicable by across Europe.

Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited led an international team of experts in the development of MEDISIGNS which was funded under the Life Long Learning programme in partnership with the Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, University of Nicosia, Cyprus, The Foundation for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, Poland, Stockholm University, Sweden and Heriot-Watt University, Scotland.

MEDISIGNS represents a ground-breaking initiative that focuses on providing language and communication skills to Deaf people, interpreters and those in the medical profession.

Haaris Sheikh, Project Chair and Chief Executive of Interesource Group says that “one of the most important things we want to do is to show how Deaf patients, doctors and nurses, and interpreters can work together to get the best results. Good communication doesn’t depend only on the interpreter: everyone has to co-operate”.

Sometimes it is not possible to get an interpreter in a healthcare setting, often leaving a Deaf person or the healthcare provider in a situation which potentially compromises the level of patient care being delivered. Potentially, this forces a Deaf patient to either wait until an interpreter becomes available, or rely on a family or friend to casually interpret on their behalf. This is not ideal especially in medial situations that are sensitive, confidential or private in nature. From the perspective of a Deaf community and the project consortium, it is important to note that the provision of qualified interpreters, and especially those trained in healthcare aspects, is not viewed as a luxury but as a fundamental human right to the access and provision of appropriate healthcare.

Products addressing this need have been developed before, however they have been largely produced to serve a single geographic market and a single user group. MEDISIGNS has been rolled out in 5 countries and targets 3 distinct user groups in Ireland, Cyprus, Poland, Sweden and the UK.

Products include:

  • Multilingual on-line course on medical interpreting in 5 countries;
  • A European report on Deaf healthcare provision: “A Prescription For Change: Report On EU Healthcare Provision For Deaf Sign Language Users”.
  • Professional Master classes series;
  • iPhone App in English and also an iPhone glossary
  • Workshops for sign language interpreters who work in medical settings;
  • Workshops for health professionals providing them with a better understanding of what they need to know when working with Deaf patients and interpreters;
  • Workshops for Deaf people to inform them on issues that arise in medical encounters and tips on how to get the best from interpreted medical encounters.
  • Documentary: Deaf Healthcare – A Matter of Interpretation

The official award ceremony takes place on October 4th 2013.

Further information and access to products through:  www.medisignsproject.eu

Interesource Group is now an IMCA Registered Consulting Practice

RCPWe are delighted that Interesource Group has become a Registered Consulting Practice of the Institute of Management Consultants and Advisers.

The IMCA is the national and internationally recognised professional institute for management consultants and business advisers in Ireland.

Haaris Sheikh (Chief Executive) is now recognised as a Certified Management Consultant (CMC). This is an internationally recognised management consultancy qualification based on strict certification requirements relating to competence, ethics and independence. Only members of ICMCI (International Council of Management Consulting Institutes) can award the CMC qualification and IMCA is a member of ICMCI. The IMCA aims to advance the professions of management consultancy and business advice by establishing and maintaining the highest standards of performance and conduct by our members, and by promoting the knowledge and skills required for that purpose. IMCA management consultants follow a strict code of conduct and practice guidelines.

Experiencing Deafhood

Experiencing Deafhood, directed by Haaris Sheikh – as part of the SIGNALL II project, explores the concept of Deafhood, a term coined by Dr Paddy Ladd at the University of Bristol. This documentary showcases footage in Irish Sign Language and British Sign Language with English voiceovers in which we trace the educational, cultural identity and employment journeys of people from the Deaf community.

© Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited 2010. All rights reserved.