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  • Resources
  • Affordable room hire
  • Range of information leaflets
  • Reading room containing books, journals, magazines, and DVDs on a range of topics relating to the Deaf Community

Family & Children

use of sign language for children with a hearing loss can accelerate learning. Learning can be fun! If you have a child who has been diagnosed as having a hearing loss; mild, moderate or profound, then you may be concerned about their communication abilities and how they can be effective learners at school. There are many areas of development, often taken for granted, that you will now have questions about; how will your child interact with other children, make friends, use speech? You may have heard of Lámh (Ireland) or Makathon (England) and wonder if they would be useful. According to Bolger of Lámh Development Office, Lámh is a hand sign system designed for children and adults with learning disabilities and communication needs in Ireland. It differs from sign language used by the Deaf community in that speech is used with signs.

We teach ISL, Irish Sign Language used by the Deaf community in Ireland, and by a great number of hearing people who have learned it either to a professional level to improve a professional service, or as a second language as a hobby. We recommend ISL for children, their families and friends. ISL is a full and complete language with its own grammar and structure. It can convey complex ideas. Today, it is not unusual for Deaf people to continue their education right up to third level. There are a significant number of profoundly deaf people who have studied at Universities for diplomas, degrees, masters and PhDs. They have used sign language interpreters to access their lectures. Sign Language consists of visual elements and abstract elements. If a child has learning difficulties the visual elements of ISL can be used to help a child understand an idea, the child can progress to learn the name or words associated with the idea.

Children who learn sign language have a large pool of people both deaf and hearing with whom they will be better enabled to communicate. A social network is as important as speech development, and educational development in a child’s life. We can guide you to the research, introduce you to sign language, and to the deaf community should you like to know more. We can facilitate you if you would you like to meet other parents who have deaf children. Learning English is important for every child’s independence in the world; learning sign language can facilitate the learning of a wide range of other subjects. We have a network of experts and we are happy to direct you to the relevant services. We have some information on DVD, video and booklets produced by organisations within the Deaf community that share the experiences of many families, the medical profession, and language acquisition research.

The Department of Education and Skills have a scheme to contribute to the cost of sign language tuition: the ‘Home Tuition Scheme’. This is a grant given to the family of a deaf child to enable them to have a Deaf Adult visit them in their home and teach the family sign language. Neighbours, extended family and friends that you would like to invite to attend such tuition can also be facilitated once the child’s communication is established. The school Principal, Social Worker, or Visiting Teacher Service can assist you with the Grant application process. 

Documents and Links 

The following video 'Experience Deafhood' (2010) was made as part of a European project - SIGNALL II.  It brings together research and deaf people's personal accounts of their educational experiences and their current perspectives on educational choices, personal identity, culture and language, and the impact of those choices throughout their adult lives.

Video presented by Paddy Ladd, of Bristol University and a number of deaf participants from Ireland and England in ISL and BSL, directed by Haaris Sheikh - as part of the SIGNALL II project

experience deafhood  Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited 2010  A short video depicting deaf people around the world, showing the variety of occupations, cultures and lifestyles.  This video was produced by

docData Protection Act.doc

pdfGuide for Parents of Deaf Children.pdf