Press Release – CISLI welcomes the imminent passing of the Recognition of Irish Sign Language Bill into law


The Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters want to echo the congratulations and good wishes that have been seen over the last few days as the Recognition of Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community Bill approaches the final stages in the Dáil and Seanad before passing into law.

The Irish Deaf Society (and particularly Dr John Bosco Conama and Lianne Quigley) have put unstinting, passionate work into this campaign over the decades, and the passage of the Bill is testimony to that work. The last few years have seen an acceleration of this work and its coming to fruition, with the establishment of their cross-community steering group and engagement with Senator Mark Daly. This is a Deaf-led piece of legislation that begins to address the needs and desires of the Deaf community as regards its language, Irish Sign Language. Huge thanks are also due to Senator Mark Daly for his initial sponsoring of the Bill, his parliamentary know-how, passion, and dedication to the process over the last few years.

CISLI, as a partner organisation to the IDS and as the professional body with expertise on interpreting, have been very privileged to be involved in this process and to sit at the negotiating table on several occasions in the lead-up to this moment. We have worked hard to ensure that the views and concerns of practitioners have been heard at that table, and that developments have been communicated back to our members. We are pleased at the major steps forward taken in the legislation towards a national framework within which ISL / English interpreting will operate. We know that the interpreting community will benefit hugely from the Bill, also, and we appreciate the steps taken by all involved to assist in our gradual professionalisation. This will do so much to promote interpreting as a career choice, and hopefully will go towards addressing some of the issues around supply of interpreters. Above all, this Bill guarantees access for Deaf citizens to essential statutory services through quality, professional ISL / English interpretation.

We thank CISLI representatives who have represented us in this process. Particular thanks go to the interpreters who worked tirelessly at the various meetings, briefings, and negotiations in the lead up to this historic moment. We extend our thanks also to supporters such as Prof Lorraine Leeson and the staff of the Centre for Deaf Studies, Willie White in the Kerry Deaf Resource Centre, the Cork Deaf Club (especially Graham O’Shea), John Stewart and Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS), the Cork Deaf Association, Andrew Geary, DeafHear, and all others who were involved.

It’s an amazing time to be involved in the Deaf community. We are once again grateful to the Deaf community for allowing us to be involved so intimately with you all in our work and our lives, sharing your wonderful, beautiful language with us, and giving us the gift of working with ISL in our professional careers.


Policy and Strategy Committee: CISLI Strategy, 2019-2022

Our Policy and Strategy Committee has recently regrouped and set ourselves a task for 2018: to draft a three-year Strategic Plan for the organisation, in consultation with  members and the main Committee.

We will begin work in January, creating a draft that will be accessible to all members. We hope to use the upcoming Dublin General Meeting to further consult and amend the document, before we finalise it prior to the AGM in the summertime.

Once the membership has approved the Strategy, it will become the guide for the organisation in its dealings with external bodies and in its internal focus.

More info very soon!

Videochat 06.12.2017 b.jpg
Our Committee deliberating on Skype!

CISLI Self-Care Session – Anthony Claffey

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The CISLI Training Sub-Committee recently held a very successful and lively ‘Self Care’ workshop. Led by Anthony Claffey, the session focused on posture, the effects of stress and tension on the body, and the importance of self care in the interpreting profession.

There was no time to sit still though, as this was a highly interactive workshop. There were plenty of chances to “get to know your skeleton” and learn breathing techniques to find your inner zen!

Anthony also covered how to warm up before interpreting using techniques that you don’t even need to stand up for, so you can be ready to go no matter where you are!

Check out the photographs and video to get a little taster of how it went…

Thanks to Lisa Harvey, Ciara Grant, Natalia Gavrilova Gryzlova and Aoife Blake for their photography and video skills!

“Beyond the Pale”: CISLI General Meeting, Fri & Sat 24 & 25 November

Left to right: Suzanne Carey, Mary Dermody, Catherine White, Valeria Fullam, Veronica White, Leanne Saurin, Amanda Mohan, Ciara Grant

CISLI had a highly successful catch-up with interpreters outside Dublin over the weekend, where interpreters based ‘beyond the Pale’ came together to receive updates on national interpreting affairs, as well as sharing concerns and patterns for local interpreters.

To see a Report about the meeting, please click here.


Several key themes emerged from discussions, including



  • the ‘Dublin-centricity’ of many of the bodies driving reform in ISL interpreting, and the resultant need to emphasise the national aspects of current State interpreting policy
  • the benefits, as well as the many disadvantages, that remote interpreting provision has brought to the profession, and the need to research same
  • difficulties in ensuring Deaf patients are told who their interpreter will be
  • instead of just pushing for more and more self-employed interpreters to cluster around the Dublin area, there is a need for a ‘mixed provision’ approach (combining self-employed freelancers, employed and contracted staff interpreters, and remote interpreters) as a key component to successfully deal with issues of interpreting supply and demand

Stay tuned for a full Report on the General Meeting!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

CISLI Self-Care Workshop – 30 Nov 2017

CISLI training committee want to remind you all that next Thursday the 30th NOVEMBER, Anthony Claffey will be doing an interactive information evening on topics such as stress, the nervous system and tension in the body. It will be on in SLIS from 730-9pm.

There will also be a social night in the Back Page in Phibsborough after! 🍻

This event is open for all CISLI members and if you’re not a member yet you can join on the night. Hope to see you all there!


CISLI General Meeting: “Beyond the Pale” – 24/25 November, Limerick

 CISLI would like to invite members, old and new, to our

CISLI General Meeting

“Beyond the Pale”

– How can CISLI work better for interpreters outside Dublin?

Deaf Community Centre, Limerick City
Fri 24th Nov, 6.30pm – 9.00pm
(followed by social drinks)
Sat 25th Nov, 11.00am – 1.00pm

All new, Active, student, Associate and Affiliate members welcome. Please come along either day (or both).

Agenda for both days will be similar:
  • What are the latest developments in the ISL Bill process?
  • What are the ways in which this will benefit interpreters outside Dublin?
  • What are the challenges faced by interpreters outside Dublin?
  • How can CISLI best support non-Dublin interpreters in it’s advocacy and campaign work? 

Please RSVP to:

Irish Deaf Society / CISLI Press Release, Hurricane Ophelia: #WheresTheAccess?




Version in Irish Sign Language can be seen here:

Irish Deaf Society (IDS) and the Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters (CISLI), on behalf of the Irish Deaf community and interpreters, wish to express deep disappointment and annoyance at the National Emergency Coordinating Group / Met Eireann’s failure to alert Deaf Irish Sign Language (ISL) users of the imminent dangers out of Hurricane Ophelia.Neither organisation has followed the growing international trend of using sign language interpreters when holding a public briefing session. This omission puts their lives and property of Deaf Irish citizens in danger. The incident has left us wondering if the State has any concern for the lives and safety of Deaf Irish citizens at all.

We have seen a number of live streaming videos from various media sources, with visual and verbal announcements which can be seen and heard, but for the vast majority of Deaf ISL users, these announcements are inaccessible. Hence we miss out on vital emergency information, which could end up being harmful to us and our dependents.

Were it not for interpreters who have volunteered to translate some of these safety announcements via social media, the situation may have been even worse. We stress how serious and dissatisfactory this situation is. Given literacy issues within the Deaf community after decades of substandard educational provision for Deaf children, it cannot be assumed that all Deaf ISL users have access to such warnings in English.

fl-hurricane-irma-governor-sign-language-interpreter-20170909The ideal situation is for a public body such as the National Emergency Coordinating Group to follow recent examples of interpreters being used in emergency / disaster briefings in the US and Australia, with interpreters being fully visible on the broadcast throughout (see the attached photos).

Coincidentally, it may be well for such public bodies to heed our advice – with the Recognition for Irish Sign Language Bill coming up for its final stages in the Seanad. Within the Bill, public bodies are reasonably expected to provide such interpretation. We do appreciate the severity of red-status warnings, and so we hope this debacle will be a ‘red flag’ to be learnt from for public bodies in the future.

Contact details:
Eddie Redmond CEO – Irish Deaf Society – 087 2345744
Cormac Leonard, chairperson of CISLI – 085 1051792

EGM – Adoption of Health & Safety Policy, changes to CISLI’s Constitution

CISLI held an Extraordinary General Meeting on Saturday 23 September. This was to deal with two Motions proposed by the Committee, held over from the AGM in June. We also used it as an opportunity to discuss and adopt the Occupational Health and Safety Policy developed by our sub-Committee.

There was a low turnout and the meeting was not quorate, but the EGM followed IDS procedures in asking those present if they wished to go ahead nonetheless with the meeting.

Both Committee Motions were passed. The Student Representative position has now become the Member Care Liaison, currently filled by Ciara Grant. Changes have been made to our CISLI Constitution to enable us to more flexibly deal with issues and developments around the national statutory registration of sign language interpreters. You can see the new Constitution here.

It was also decided to adopt the Occupational Health and Safety Policy developed by our sub-Committee as a working document, subject to regular review and additions. The most recent version of the Health and Safety policy can be seen here.


CISLI Training Workshop – Being a Self-Employed Interpreter

CISLI recently had an extremely successful workshop on the ‘tricks of the trade’ of being a self-employed sign language interpreter.

Presenting their own systems and tips were Ray Greene, Ali Stewart, Lisa Dunne and Cormac Leonard, extolling the virtues of colour coding, record keeping, and online packages such as Billings and Brightbook.

Notes from the session will be kept to make available for CISLI members.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.