Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion 

The first line of the GAA Official Guide spells out how the GAA reaches into every corner of Ireland and many communities around the globe. In doing this, the GAA is fully committed to the principles of inclusion and diversity at all levels.Our aim as a sporting organisation is to offer an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming environment for everyone. Real inclusion reflects the diversity, i.e. it aims to offer that sense of belonging to everyone, irrespective of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, ethnicty, or minority community and/or disability.

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#SignmeUp:  An Tochar GAA Talk with Their Hands!

An Tochar GAA Club, Wicklow, Irish Deaf Society, Wicklow Sports and Recreation Partnership, GAA, The Camogie Association, Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) and Wicklow GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee, on July 1st launched the Gaelic games #signmeup initiative. This initiative creates awareness of the challenges faced by those with hearing difficulties and encourages greater social inclusion by promoting use of Gaelic games related sign language in clubs.

Rita Brady, Healthy Club Officer in An Tochar GAA Club is an ISL user who wanted to find a way to make her GAA community more aware of ISL and give people the opportunity to learn some Gaelic games ISL signs. Her passion to achieve this was the catalyst to bring together a working group which included representatives from An Tochar GAA, the Irish Deaf Society, Wicklow Sports and Recreation Partnership, GAA, The Camogie Association, LGFA and Wicklow GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee to create an Irish Sign Language Video. The ISL working group put their creative minds together to develop content for Gaelic games ISL videos.  The Gaelic games ISL videos production was funded by Wicklow Sports & Recreation Partnership and Irish Life. Local Club and County Gaelic games players, referees, and volunteers along with Irish Deaf Society presenters from County Wicklow were delighted to be involved in creating the video and bringing #signmeup to life.  

The #Signmeup initiative includes the Gaelic games ISL video which shows the most commonly used GAA terms in Irish Sign Language.  Throughout the video as a Gaelic Games skill or action is demonstrated, the related ISL Sign is being shown.  The aim of the video is to create greater awareness of ISL and provide the viewer with the opportunity to learn some elements of our third national language and how it can be integrated into Gaelic games activities.  The video is accompanied by signage for club grounds providing QR codes directly linking to the videos.  It will also be shared widely on online channels and social media.

Clara Jenkinson, Wicklow Sport & Recreation Partnership said, “This #Signmeup Irish Sign Language video lives the vision of Wicklow Sport & Recreation Partnership, to have “More people enjoying taking part”.  The ISL video comes from a community passion to be inclusive in our sports, in our community and reduce barriers to participation in local GAA clubs for the deaf community of Wicklow and Ireland.”   

With support from Wicklow County Health & Wellbeing Committee, several An Tochar GAA Club coaches, over a six-week period will roll out the #signmeup initiative by integrating the signs shown in the ISL Gaelic games video into their weekly training sessions as a way of creating awareness and embedding ISL in the club.  Other clubs in the county will be invited to take part in the #signmeup initiative and will be provided with pitch and indoor signage to promote it.As a community-based sports organisation, that reaches into every corner of Ireland, the GAA know that the #signmeup initiative creates greater awareness of ISL and provides opportunities for its integration into our clubs with the aim of supporting our members who livs the development of the #signmeup resource that will work through the Gaelic Games family”.e with some level of hearing loss or are profoundly deaf by offering an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming environment for everyone.

GAA National Diversity & Inclusion Officer Geraldine McTavish says

“The aim of the Gaelic Games Associations is to offer an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming environment for everyone. In the past number of years, we have been committed to enhancing diversity and inclusion within the Gaelic Games Associations at all levels and we are committed to keeping this momentum going. In recent years we’ve seen the success of campaigns to increase participation in our games and we are delighted to be doing the same across Ireland’s diverse population, to promoting sport and physical activity to everyone regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, or fitness level. It is another big breakthrough for us to bring this Gaelic Games Associations “Sign me up” initiative to life for all of our members”

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Gaelic Games Irish Sign language

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