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Centre for Deaf Studies, Dublin facts for kids

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The Centre for Deaf Studies is part of the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and is the only university offering Deaf Studies related courses on the island of Ireland.

The Centre originally offered a range of 2 year full-time Diploma courses in (i) ISL Teaching, (ii) ISL/English Interpreting and (iii) Deaf Studies. Since 2009, a 4-year honors Bachelor in Deaf Studies has been running. Students follow a common two-year programme, specializing in Deaf Studies or Interpreting or Teaching in the sophister years (third and fourth).


Established in 2001, following a decade of campaigning by the Irish Deaf Society, the Centre for Deaf Studies was originally located at Waterloo Lane, Dublin 4. By 2003, more space was needed and the Centre moved to the first floor of St. Vincent's Centre for the Deaf, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, where it remained until 2010. In autumn 2010, the Centre moved to its new home at 7-9 Leinster Street South, a College owned premises.

Part-time/occasional lecturers who have taught at the Centre for Deaf Studies over the years include:

Ms. Deirdre Byrne-Dunne, Mr. Senan Dunne, Ms. Dawn Duffin, Dr. Colin Flynn, Ms. Alvean Jones, Mr. Brian Lynch, Ms. Patricia Lynch (RIP), Ms. Wendy Murray Snr., Ms. Wendy Murray Jnr., Dr. Patrick McDonnell, Ms. Helena Saunders, Ms. Laura Sadlier (RIP), Ms. Gudny Thorvaldsdottir, Ms. Nora Ungar.

The Centre for Deaf Studies is a constituent member of the Centre for Language and Communication Studies (CLCS), TCD. Staff from CLCS and the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies (CSLS), our 'sisters' in the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences, contribute to teaching.

Colleagues from the School who have contributed to teaching over the years include:

Dr. Vania Aguiar, Dr. Jeffrey Kallen, Prof. David Little, Dr. Breffni O'Rourke, Dr. Heath Rose, Prof. David Singleton, Dr. Irene Walsh.


The Centre has engaged in a wide range of research activity in its decade to date. Work includes the development of the Signs of Ireland corpus, a digital multimodal corpus annotated in ELAN. The Signs of Ireland corpus is used in teaching and learning at the Centre and was the basis for Lorraine Leeson and John Saeed's volume describing the linguistic and sociolinguistic situation of Irish Sign Language (Edinburgh University Press, 2011).

Other work has centered on the application of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to ISL teaching and assessment, the assessment of interpreters, deaf education, interpreters in educational contexts, interpreters in medical contexts, interpreters in mental health settings, etc.

The Laura Sadlier Freshman Prize and the Laura Sadlier Sophister Award were officially founded in 2014 in recognition of the outstanding contributions made to the Centre for Deaf Studies by Laura Sadlier. These prizes will be presented annually to Junior Freshman students from the Centre for Deaf Studies who have demonstrated significant improvement in ISL proficiency and/or cultural engagement with the Deaf Community and to Senior Sophister students from the Centre for Deaf Studies. The recipient of this award will have demonstrated academic achievement, collegiality and engagement with the Deaf Community during the course of their studies.


  • Director: Professor Lorraine Leeson
  • Dr. John Bosco Conama, Assistant Professor & Coordinator - Bachelor in Deaf Studies
  • Ms. Carmel Grehan, Assistant Professor & Coordinator - Junior Freshman Courses
  • Mr. Patrick A. Matthews, Assistant Professor & Coordinator - Senior Freshman Courses
  • Ms. Teresa Lynch, Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Sarah Sheridan, Assistant Professor

Some of the European Commission funded projects that we have been involved in to date include:



Hidden Histories - see as an example of the kind of 'oral history' data collected.

Medisigns -

D-Signs - See for an overview of the project in British Sign Language.

Currently we are working on the Justisigns project which is concerned with deaf peoples' access to justice. See:

European Centre for Modern Languages PRO-Signs - see:

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