Irish Sign Language support website goes liveWednesday 27 March 2013 20.41
The first online resource to support parents of deaf and hard of hearing children to learn Irish Sign Language (ISL) has gone live.
ISL Everywhere is the only online resource developed specifically to support parents and families to learn ISL.
It is also to help them expand their young child's vocabulary and understanding of the world around them.
The free mobile website is designed to be accessed from smart phones or any other internet-enabled devices.
The accessibility will mean that parents can access words needed for daily routines from breakfast to bedtime, while at home or on the go.
The idea came from Sharing the Journey, a voluntary support organisation for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children.
The group recognised that parents needed a resource to provide them with on-the-spot, fast and efficient access to good quality, accurate signs.
The mobile website includes over 1,000 signs and phrases, focusing on the everyday vocabulary of a young child's life.
It also includes vocabulary needed for daily routines such as bedtime and bath-time, potty-training, visiting the doctor, holidays and special occasions.
ISL Everywhere is one of over 15 projects developed through Digital Skills Academy's WebElevate Programme.
Sharing the Journey's co-founder Teresa McDonnell said: "As a support organisation for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children, we've had countless requests from parents of young children to help them learn ISL.
She said: "For most families their deaf baby is the first deaf person that they have ever met."
Ms McDonnell said: "Learning ISL can be challenging not only for parents, but for siblings and relatives as well. ISL Everywhere will be a fantastic support for everyone learning ISL."
Paul Dunne, CEO of Digital Skills Academy, said: "We are extremely proud of the work our WebElevate participants have achieved in developing ISL Everywhere for Sharing the Journey.
"They have not only benefited from the experience of working on this innovative project, but upon graduation, it will lead to direct employment for a number of participants, who will be employed to further develop iPhone and Android app versions of ISL Everywhere."