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2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, Communication engineering and systems
Irish Sign Language (ISL), an indigenous language of Ireland, is recognized by the European Union as a natural language. It is a language separate from the other languages used in Ireland, including English, Irish, and, in Northern Ireland, British Sign Language. Some 5,000 Deaf people use ISL. Given the history of suppression of signed languages across the EU, the average Deaf person leaves school with a reading age of 8.5 to 9 years. Given this, it is no surprise that Deaf people are the most under-represented of all disadvantaged groups at third level. This poses two challenges: (1) getting Deaf people into third level and (2) presenting education in an accessible form.
Nolan, B. & Leeson, L. (2009) Signs of access in a digital world: online delivery of deaf studies curricula in Ireland at third level, INTED 2009, Valencia, Spain, 9-12 March.