Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for the implementation of Sign Language interpretation to European Parliament debates.
Speaking in Brussels, the Ireland South MEP said the move to introduce Sign Languages would make the European Parliament more accessible to the Deaf community.
“Despite the European Parliament having made a commitment to introduce sign language interpretation to plenary debates this still hasn’t happened,” she said.
“If we´re not making Sign Language interpretation available in the European Parliament, what message are we sending out to citizens?
“We have committed to introducing Sign Language interpretation at a committee level; it is long past time that this commitment was acted upon and that we begin to move forward and look at ways of introducing Sign Language into other aspects of the European Parliament.
“This is about making the Parliament accessible to everyone. It’s about respect and understanding and issues such as this are ones we need to take a principled stand on.
“For my part, I will be introducing an amendment calling for the immediate introduction of Sign language to plenary debates, as has already been agreed.
“I have done this successfully in the past but words are not enough. I will be stressing the importance of action after we vote.
“In the uncertain times that Europe is now facing, we cannot afford to exclude a single citizen from the democratic process any longer.”