Should all Irish schools teach sign language as an additional language? 3 months ago

Should all Irish schools teach sign language as an additional language?

What do you think?

When I was in primary school, we were taught how to sing in sign language for our Christmas concerts.

To this day, I can still remember how to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Away in a Manger in sign language.

The reason behind this was because two of the parents attending the shows at the time were deaf and the staff wanted them to enjoy the shows the same way all the other parents did.

I grew up with some basic knowledge of Irish sign language outside of singing as well, like how waving your hands is clapping, how to say good morning, good evening and of course how to spell my name.

Still , I wish I knew more as it's such an interesting and useful - it also has me wondering why more, if not all schools, don't teach sign language.

Parents in the UK have recently petitioned to have sign language brought into all schools and I think we need to do the same in Ireland.

By the time I was my son's age I was being actively taught pieces of sign language in school and it baffles me as to why it's not more commonplace considering that 13.5 per cent of the Irish population have some form of disability and many are sign language users.

Not only is it a great way to make schools more inclusive for children with hearing or verbal difficulties but it's a language your child will be able to use for the rest of their lives.

In the last few months I've been looking into taking adult sign language classes so I can improve my own sign language but like all languages the earlier it is taught the better which is why I think it would be fantastic to see it added to the Irish school curriculum.

If you would like anymore information about sign language classes or deaf services in Ireland you can visit the Irish Deaf Society website here.