Sign Language Interpreting Service

For over a year now, I have been looking for a way of making more of a contribution to society. I have used the excellent Boardmatch Ireland service to find organisations looking for contributions at Board level and I am delighted that I have now been asked to serve on the Board of Management of the Sign Language Interpreting Service.

Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) is the national agency for the provision of sign language interpreting services in Ireland. It is supported by the Citizens Information Board. It is an independent voluntary body with its own board of management.

Sign Language Interpreting Service has been in operation since April 2007 and was established to deliver high quality sign language interpreting services to the deaf community, public and private services and to individual members of the public.

I was interested in SLIS because a) their need is for someone with skills like mine and b) because I felt a personal connection with its mission. Both my paternal grandparents were Deaf and, while I never met them in life, my father told me many stories relating to their deafness when I was growing up.

SLIS has gone through a number of changes recently and has a new Strategy – so more changes are on the way.

I must admit that I am nervous about getting involved: nervous of failing do a good job; and nervous of being inadvertently rude in my dealings with Deaf people. But I am also excited. My first Board Meeting is tomorrow afternoon.

As I write this post, there are 311 unfilled positions available on Boardmatch Ireland with voluntary organisations all across the country. I would urge anyone of you who feel you could make a contribution to civil society to register with Boardmatch and find a role where you can try to make a difference.

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