RTÉ One, Saturday, 12.30pm, Repeat Sunday 10.30am
Hands On

Best of Hands On 5 - 24 May 2009

This is the last of the Best of Hands On for this series...but not to worry we are back this autumn with new exciting programmes! But first here's another chance see Con Lynch receiving his well-deserved unsung hero award and Senan asks why ISL has yet to be legally recognised by our Government as an official language of Ireland.

ISL Recognition
Every year, at the ISL Pride March, the Irish Deaf Community takes to the streets of Dublin to declare that ISL is a language in its own right and the Government should declare it the 3rd official language of Ireland like over 45 other countries internationally have given legal recognition to their own native sign languages.

John Bosco Conama explains why ISL should be recognised as an official language and how it would change people's view of the Deaf community. Cathy Mc Cormack, ISL campaigner believes that recognition of ISL is a basic human right for Irish Deaf people and wants to see a referendum being held so the Constitution can be amended to allow ISL be declared as an official language along with English and Irish.

The Irish Deaf Society say they have been campaigning for ISL recognition for the past 20 years, we meet board member Kevin G. Mulqueen who explains what they have been doing to date and what response they've been getting from the Irish Government.

We also look at the proposed ISL Bill, a Private Members Bill that Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has yet to put to the Senate. If passed, the Bill will allow for the legal recognition of ISL but it still won't have recognition in the Constitution. Is the Bill all it's cracked up to be?

If you feel passionate about getting ISL recognized, visit the Irish Deaf Society (www.Deaf.ie) and Kerry Deaf Resource Centre Websites (www.kerrydeaf.com) where you can download a letter to send to your local TD and the Taoiseach asking them to recognize ISL.

On Friday June 5th you'll be asked to vote in the European Parliament Elections. To find out who the candidates are for your constituency, see www.europeanelections.ie. Why not ask the candidate from your constituency if they would propose the recognition of all European Sign languages be put on the EU agenda?

Unsung/Super Hero Awards
One of the best loved members of the Deaf Community, Con Lynch, has been recognised at Dublin City Council's Unsung Hero Awards for volunteering his time, energy and skills to Deaf community for the last 40 years! He was nominated four different people, one of whom was interpreter, Bernadette Ferguson, "Fergie" who says it is Con's demeanour and friendly manner that made her nominate him for the award and she explains what she would do to honour him if she won the Euro millions! Other members of the Deaf community also share their knowledge about Con and why he deserves the award and we hear from the man himself about how much receiving the award meant to him.

Hands On want to say many thanks to all who watched and contributed to making this series. Have a nice summer! See you in the autumn!

Useful links:

Deaf Organizations
www.deafhear.ie (formerly National Association for Deaf people)


Websites links:
Private Members Bills passed between 2002-2007

New Zealand
New Zealand Sign Language Bill was passed on 6th of April 2006.

RNID Welcomes Recognition of British Sign Language

Other useful links

What's On