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Booking an interpreter

Irish Sign Language (ISL)

Irish Sign Language (ISL) is the native language of the Deaf community in Ireland and the primary means of communication.  The Irish Sign Language Act 2017 recognises ISL as an official language of the Irish State and places a “duty on all public bodies to provide Irish Sign Language users with free interpretation when availing of or seeking to access statutory entitlements and services”.

Deaf people have the right to request a registered ISL/English interpreter to ensure equal access and opportunity.

Role of an Irish Sign Language Interpreter

An Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreter is a professional working between Irish Sign Language and other signed or spoken languages and facilitates communication across cultures.

The interpreter will relay the conversation as it happens between Deaf person(s) and/or hearing person(s) to provide complete and accurate information to both parties. The role of the interpreter is to facilitate communication and ensure equal access to information.

An interpreter is bound to the RISLI Code of Conduct to ensure confidentiality and impartiality.

When to book an Interpreter?

When a Deaf person is attending an appointment, meeting or event, the person organising the event is responsible for booking an interpreter.

There is a shortage of interpreters in Ireland, so interpreters should be booked well in advance of the assignment.

When booking an interpreter, the organiser should ask the Deaf person if they wish to work with a preferred interpreter. Deaf people should be able to choose the most appropriate interpreter. The Deaf person should be asked if they wish to have the same interpreter for ongoing appointments.

Deaf people should have access to an interpreter to support full and equal access to information.

How to Book an Interpreter

  • Freelance interpreters are self-employed contractors, the agreement is between the service provider and the interpreter. Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) provides a referral service for organisations or individuals to find suitable freelancer interpreters.
  • Interpreting Agencies engage freelance interpreters; the arrangement is between the agency and the interpreter. See below for a list of interpreting agencies.
  • Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS) is a remote interpreting service provided by SLIS.

Interpreting Agencies and Services

Agencies that specialise in providing Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreters

Bridge Interpreting Ltd.

Phone: 087 904 6594

Irish Sign Language Interpreting

Phone: 071 9622577

Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS)

Phone: 0761 078440
Mobile: 087 980 6996

Agencies providing ISL and other interpreting services


Phone: +353 (0)1 652 0760

Word Perfect Translation Services Ltd

Phone: +353 (0)1 872 0008

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