Development of ISL resources


Picking the books

In consultation with an educational psychologist, a range of books were selected for the Shared Reading Programme.  We chose books suitable for children from 0-4 years of age, and further developed resources for children 4-8 years of age. The books we picked reflected both the psychological development of the child and the language acquisition of a parent learning ISL as a new language. We aimed to select books in pairs (e.g. 2 books on bath time, 2 books on colours) so that parents would be able to revisit familiar vocabulary while learning new material.  Permission was sought from the publishers so we could film ISL versions of each of the books.

Filming ISL resources

In July 2012, we recruited Deirdre Byrne-Dunne to act as the ISL site coordinator for our Shared Reading Project.  Deirdre was responsible for recruiting, selecting and training a group of volunteers who would produce the ISL stories. Ten volunteers came forward and were trained.  In August, we set about filming our resources in the Centre for Deaf Studies with the guidance of Paddy Cahill ( and Caroline McGrotty.  Over 10 action packed days, we succeeded in getting 10 story books on film for children aged 0-4. The films were edited by Paddy Cahill and were mass produced to include in our first full set of 330 book packs. Additional resources were filmed for children aged 4-8 in January 2015 and are now available to families across Ireland.

Making the book packs

We have produced over 500 book packs for children aged 0-4, and 200 book packs for children aged 4-8. Activities for each book were created by an early childhood educator and each pack was put together with the DVD, the book, a book mark, and the activity sheet for the story.

Tutor training workshops

We hold frequent training workshop and have trained tutors from all over Ireland. If you are an ISL Home Tutor who wishes to get involved in the Shared Reading Programme please email to register your interest in attending a free training session. We also hold presentations about the Shared Reading Programme and you can email us with any queries you have about getting started.

Further developments

We continue to seek funding to grow and expand our Shared Reading Programme. Since beginning this project in 2012 we have developed resources for families with deaf and hard of hearing children aged 0-4 and 4-8. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Blog section for updates and announcements about new developments, presentations, and training sessions!