A sign language interpreter for this year’s Late Late Toy show has opened up about the importance of inclusivity on Irish television.
Tonight will see Ryan Tubridy present his 14th Toy Show, which is centered around the classic movie The Wizard of Oz.
Amanda Coogan, Jason Maguire and Ciara Grant will be presenting The Late Late Toy Show live with Irish Sign Language (ISL) on the RTÉ News channel and RTÉ Player. The Late Late Toy Show ISL will be available to stream shortly after the live broadcast.
Audio Description (AD) will also be available for the repeat on Sunday at 3.15pm and on Monday night, and afterwards on RTÉ Player. A fully accessible version (with subtitles, ISL and AD) will be broadcast on Wednesday, November 30, which will also be available to stream.
Audio Description (AD) for Blind and Vision Impaired audiences will be provided on the Sunday repeat. AD version will be available on RTÉ Player after the program airs on television. The program will be audio described by Clara Murray and Kevin Sherwin.
Speaking to reporters ahead to the official start of festive season, contemporary visual arts performer Amanda gave an insight into what viewers can expect from the big show.
‘The pop songs are always fantastic because you get a good creative buzz out of them. Our aim is deaf kids and kids whose mammies and daddies use sign language get to experience the Toy Show like everyone else.
So the whole family can watch it on RTE News. We’re live at the same time. We want people to have as much fun, do as much laughing and crying as everyone else watching.
‘The deaf community absolutely love it. This is the fourth year that RTE are doing it and it’s really amazing to make this iconic program accessible to the deaf community. We’re really proud of the deaf community. The Irish Sign Language Act came in a couple of years ago and RTE were on top of that then. They brought us in and made the show accessible,’ she said.
Amanda is a CODA, child of deaf adult, and is delighted to see representation for the deaf community growing in a year where a film about a family similar to her’s won Best Pictures at the Oscars.
She explained: ‘My mum and dad are deaf so I’m what you call a CODA, I always signed. Me, my bother and sister could hear and we signed in my family home. The language is Irish sign language. The door bell flashes when you ring the doorbell. It was gorgeous. I’m very proud to be an Irish sign language user…
‘A lot of my CODA brothers and sister were chatting to Liveline after the Oscars, it was brilliant. Ireland is so brilliant, we have realized this beautiful indigenous language, which is Irish sign language, and everybody embraced it and are encouraging accessibility for the deaf community. It’s really positive.’
When it comes to what she can get away with signing on the night, Amanda joked that she wouldn’t have a problem fully-translating what Ryan says if he has another explicit moment.
‘A couple of years ago I did the infamous one and I didn’t hear it on the night so I was absolutely dreadful interpreter because I was like “what are they laughing at”…
‘I absolutely would have said it because we’re going for deaf kids but actually the mammies and daddies are there. We want them to have a laugh. I want them to laugh at my bad dancing,’ she joked.
The Late Late Toy Show airs tonight at 9.35pm on RTE One and the RTE Player.