Hands Open – first music video in Irish Sign Language

3rd March 2011

A unique collaboration between two DIT student societies – DIT Sign Soc and DIT Guitar Society – has launched the first ever music video in Irish Sign Language. Thomas Geoghegan, Chair of the Sign Language Society, and Michael Monaghan and John Jereza from the DIT guitar Society, have recorded Snow Patrol’s “Hands Open” and judging by the growing number of hits on YouTube, it is going down well with both hearing and deaf communities. Geoghegan is studying for Masters degree in Renewable Energy in DIT. Although he is not deaf himself, and has no immediate family with hearing impairment, he became interested in deaf culture through a friend who formed the Sign Language Society in DIT. In the video, he takes centre stage signing “Hands Open”, while the music and vocals are provided by Michael Monaghan and John Jereza. The filming of the video took quite some time, as the performance had to be filmed from different angles to be understandable. Thomas rehearsed the signs with Sign Language teacher, Bernie Walsh.

The video was launched as part of Think Inclusion, Think Integration - a week-long programme of events hosted by DIT Sign Language Society and designed to raise awareness of disability issues. According to the Sign Language Committee, “The aim of the week is to challenge perceptions about disability and to provide opportunities for students to learn to see the person before the disability and to understand that within disability there are more possibilities than limitations. We have a wide range of activities planned from sports matches between DIT Sports teams and Deaf Sports Association teams, a disability dance workshop, a poker night through Irish Sign Language, to talks in various areas of disability. We are delighted that Caroline Casey from the Kanchi Foundation will be launching the week’s events with a talk on Monday at 1pm in Aungier St.”



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