1 Trinity College Dublin (University of Dublin) (IRELAND)
2 Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (IRELAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 2033-2043
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Irish Sign Language (ISL), an indigenous language of Ireland, is recognized by the EU 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.

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.

Two institutions, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the Institute for Technology, Blanchardstown, Dublin (ITB) have partnered to create a unique elearning environment based on MOODLE as the learning management system, in the delivery of Deaf Studies programmes at TCD. We deliver third level programmes to students online to resolves problems of time, geography and access, maximizing multi-functional uses of digital assets across our programmes.

Signed languages are visual-gestural languages and online content is required to be multi-modal in nature and utilize rich-media learning objects. This presents many important challenges, including:
• Universal design in an online curriculum for Deaf students
• Assessing signed language interpreting skill in an online context
• Using the Signs of Ireland corpus in blended learning contexts in a MOODLE environment
• Issues of assessment in an elearning context

We have operated online delivery since 2005, hosted by ITB, and recently we were successful in attracting Irish government funding to deliver undergraduate programmes through blended learning, maximizing ICT in the teaching and learning of ISL.

elearning, deaf studies, strategic innovation fund, irish sign language.