Friday 28 October 2016

'It's so important to me but there needs to be more interpreters available'

Published 14/10/2016 | 02:30

Graham O'Shea from Cork is deaf and Irish Sign Language (ISL) is his first language. He uses a free service based in Dublin called IRIS (Irish Relay Interpreting Service) to allow him to contact a number of service providers, including his GP, the hospital, local newspapers and sometimes gas, electricity and broadband suppliers.

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"IRIS makes it easy to access services because ISL is my first language," he says. "Using it also helps make companies more aware of this. It provides a great service, and they're really helpful."

Graham uses the service about three times a week, sometimes more depending on how important the call is. Other times, he will email and text, but would happily use the service more if he could.

It's currently only available on weekdays between 10am and 4pm, and bookings have to be made in advance for one of the seven 30-minute daily slots.

"IRIS is a very important service for me but there's only one interpreter available at any time. It really needs to expand to two or three interpreters, as the times available are very limited."

Irish Independent

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