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Dr. John Conama

Project Manager (C.L.C.S.)


Project Manager (Centre for Deaf Studies)

(Ph.D, M. Litt, BA in social policy) was the former chairperson of the Irish Deaf Society, He has been involved in many committees and working groups within the Civil Service and other Government bodies to monitor the progress of Deaf and disabled people in society. His recent publications have focused on Deaf people in society, for instance the level of poverty within the Deaf community. He was also on the board of the Sign Language Interpreting Service agency (SLIS). He also chaired the accreditation process for ISL/English interpreters twice in 2006 and 2009. He graduated with a doctorate from University College Dublin and his thesis focused on a comparative policy analysis of signed langauges in two countries - Finland and Ireland. John Bosco was awarded as one of the European Label Language Ambassador for 2015.
  Education and minority language   Equality law   Globalisation   Health policy   Identity politics and social change   Irish economy, problems   Irish politics, election study, electoral behaviour   Politics of the welfare state   Public Policy   Social work with minorities
 DESIGNS: Deaf Employment for Sign Language Users in the EU
 Hidden Histories (Irish coordinator)
 Signing In / Signing Out
 Poverty in the Irish Deaf Community
 SIF II Deaf Studies in Ireland Programme

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Details Date
Member of Disability Advisory Committee under the aegis of Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission 2019 - 2021
Acting Chairperson of the Model School for the Deaf Project 2000 - 2007
Member of the Partnership Group on Deaf Education (CIDP-IDS-DeafHear-Schools for the Deaf-CDS) 2009 - oresent
Member of advisory group to Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) with a responsibility of organising a conference and a written response to the issue of Deaf applicants for primary teaching training 2012
Invited to participate in the roundtable discussion on Irish Sign Language recognition hosted by the National Disability Authority May 3, 2012
A collaborative project over the next 12 months between UCC, Cork Deaf Association and Kerry Deaf Resource Centre, which will focus on designing a Deaf Awareness auditing template for use by public bodies. Hopefully this project can support the work underway around the country towards supporting effective implementation of the ISL Act 2017. This project is supported by Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission's Grant Scheme 2018 November
Invited to attend the working group meeting on the Implementation of the Irish Sign Language Act 2017 within the Houses of the Oireachtas Service. 5th November
World Federation of the Deaf's Expert Group on Sign Language and Deaf Studies 2016-2019
The working group we are putting together to address the relocation of St Josephs House for vulnerable Deaf adults 2017 - present
An external consultant to Working Group on Sign Language for the Public Council of the Commission on Interaction between Citizens and the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria. 2018
Co-chair the Irish Sign Language Recognition Campaign which culminated in the enactment of Irish Sign Language Act 2017 and it was signed into law by President Higgins on 24th December 2017. 2011 to present
Committee member on Irish Sign Language Academy - a representative body of ISL teachers and researchers under the aegis of Irish Deaf Society. Responsibility in the ISL recognition. 2005 to 2012
Board member of the Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS). SLIS is the interpreting agency that is supported with funds by the statutory agency: Citizens Information Board (CIB) 2007 - 2009
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
American Sign Language Medium Basic Medium
British Sign Language Medium Medium Medium
English Fluent Fluent Basic
Irish Sign Language Fluent Fluent Fluent
Details Date From Date To
Member of ISL Academy 2006 present
Irish Deaf Society Member, Board director, secretary, chairperson 1986 current
World Federation of the Deaf 2008 current
Ah, that's not necessary, you can read English instead": An ecological analysis of state language policy concerning Irish Sign Language, Irish and English and its effects in, editor(s)Maartje de Meulder, Jospeh Murray and Rachel McKee , Recognizing Sign Languages:
An International Overview Of National Campaigns For Sign Language Legislation And Their Outcomes, 2018, [John Bosco Conama], Book Chapter, APPROVED
Sign Language Communities in, Hogan-Brun & O'Rourke , Handbook on Minority Languages and Communities (, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, [Maartje De Meulder, Verena Krausneker, Graham Turner, John Bosco Conama], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
35 Years and Counting! An Ethnographic Analysis of Sign Language Ideologies within the Irish Sign Language Recognition Campaign in, editor(s)Annelies Kusters , Sign Language Ideologies in Practice, De Gruyter, 2018, [John Bosco Conama], Book Chapter, APPROVED
Jemina Napier, Haaris Sheikh, Audrey Cameron, Lorraine Leeson, John Bosco Conama, Christian Rathmann, and Christian Peters, DESIGNS: Perspectives on Deaf people's access to employment through interpreters, European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 2018, 2018, Oral Presentation, PRESENTED  URL
John Bosco Conama, nconsciously or Consciously, the Principle of Zero-Sum Game Dominates Irish Deaf Educatio, Review of Language, Power, and Resistance, by Elizabeth S. Mathews , Sign Language Studies , 19, (2), 2018, p295-297. doi:10.1353/sls.2018. , Notes: [ doi:10.1353/sls.2018.0036], Review, PUBLISHED
Haaris Sheikh, John Bosco Conama and Lorraine Leeson, 'A Guide to Kilkenny Castle', Dublin: IGI Media, Office of Public Works (OPW), 2018, -, Translation, PUBLISHED  URL
Heath Rose, John Bosco Conama, Linguistic imperialism: still a valid construct in the oppression of Irish Sign Language users, Language Policy, 2017, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Language Attitudes: Equality Issues in, editor(s)Genie Gertz - Gallaudet University Patrick Boudreault - Gallaudet University , The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia, Sage, 2016, [John Bosco Conama], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Sign Language: UK and Ireland in, editor(s)Genie Gertz, Patrick Boudreault , The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia, Sage, 2016, [John Bosco Conama], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Who decides? Language education policies for Deaf children - Selected findings from a comparative analysis of Finnish and Irish policies on signed languages. in, editor(s)Lorraine Leeson and Myriam Vermeerbergen , Lorraine Leeson and Myriam Vermeerbergen (eds), Working with the Deaf Community: Education, Mental Health and Interpreting , Dublin, Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited, 2015, [Dr. John Bosco Conama\], Notes: [To be published ], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED

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John Bosco Conama, 35 Years and Counting! An Ethnographic Analysis of Sign Language Ideologies within the Irish Sign Language Recognition Campaign, Irish Deaf Research Conference, Long Room Hub, TCD, 9th November, 2018, Notes: [Keynote Presenter], Conference Paper, PRESENTED
John Bosco Conama, Irish Sign Language Act 2017: A brief explanation and what to expect afterwards, Community Dialogue, Deaf Village Ireland, Rathoath Road, Dublin 7, 17th February, 2018, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Dr. Audrey CAMERON Heriot-Watt University, Scotland Prof. Dr. Christian RATHMANN Professor of Deaf Studies, Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin Dr. John Bosco CONAMA Co-Director/Assistant Professor, Centre for Deaf Studies, TCD, Experiences of Deaf people at work: Preliminary ndings from research in the UK Germany and Ireland., Employment of sign language users in Europe, , 12th January, 2018, , Invited Talk, PRESENTED
John Bosco Conama, The Bumpy Journey towards the Irish Sign Language Act, University College Cork, 9th March, 2018, The ISS21 Disability and Mental Health research cluster, Notes: [The Irish Sign Language Act 2017 was passed into law on 24th December 2017. Irish Sign Language (ISL) is now officially designated as a native and independent language in the Republic of Ireland. In this seminar, Dr John Bosco Conama will chart the progress of the ISL recognition campaign and explore some critical considerations for language rights activism. ], Invited Talk, PRESENTED
John Bosco Conama, My Role as a Deaf Activist-Scholar in the ISL Recognition Campaign, TCD School of Education seminar, Disability: Political Representation and Activism. , UCD Student Centre, Belfield, Dublin 4., 18th May, 2018, Vivian Rath, School of Education TCD, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
John Bosco Conama, Irish Sign Language Act 2017: A brief introduction and its challenges, Challenging Times, Ballinasloe Library, 11th June, 2018, Western Region of Library Association of Ireland, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
John Bosco Conama, Equality in the Academia: What Deaf Academics Can Do About It? , Deaf empowerment for Deaf academics, University College London, Room 305, Bedford Way, London, 29th June, 2018, UCL Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) University College London, Invited Talk, APPROVED
John Bosco Conama, A brief introduction to the ISL Act 2017, Copenhagen Deaf Club, Copenhagen, Denmark, 28th February, 2018, Danish Deaf Association , Invited Talk, PRESENTED
John Bosco Conama, Irish Sign Language Act 2017 A brief explanation and what to expect afterwards for ISL Teachers, Council of Irish Sign Language Teachers, Room 111, Centre for Deaf Studies, TCD, 18th August , 2018, Council of Irish Sign Language Teachers, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
John Bosco Conama, Haaris Sheikh, Lorraine Leeson, The DESIGNS Project: Deaf Employment in Europe, 8th Community Interpreting Conference, TCD ARTS BUILDING , 8 June 2017, 2017, Conference Paper, PRESENTED


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Award Date
European Language Label - Language Ambassador September 2015
Media Award by Hidden Hearing - Media Award - Award for a campaigner / journalist / celebrity who has highlighted topics related to those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. September 2011
Doctoral scholarship from National Disability Authority 2002-07
Dr Ciaran Barry Scholarship for Masters research 1997
Supporter of the Year by Kerry Deaf Rsources Centre December 17, 2010
Masters in Arts (jure offici) 23 June 2017
Deaf Cultural Studies, Equality Studies, Media Studies, Social Policy, Deaf Education, All relating to the Deaf communities in Ireland and beyond