The President's Award

Challenge Partner

A Gaisce Challenge Partner is an organisation that supports and facilitates young people to participate in one or more Gaisce Challenge areas, allowing relevant activities to be counted towards achieving a Gaisce Award. In recognition of the relationship between Deaf Communications and Gaisce - The President’s Award, Deaf Communications has become an official Gaisce Challenge Partner. 

Deaf Communications have created a 13 week Irish Sign Language (ISL) module specifically to meet the Gaisce programme requirements. It introduces young people to ISL and also requires them to engage in an additional 6 hours of self-study. Completing this module allows Gaisce participants to meet the Personal Skill Challenge area at Bronze Award Level. 

The course is also mapped in with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR). The framework is recognised throughout Europe and aims at describing what language learners have to learn in order to use the language for communication purposes as well as provides guidelines in respect of knowledge and skills the learner needs to develop so as to be able interact effectively in that language. The framework also encompasses a cultural context in which language is set. 

About Gaisce 

Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15-25, which is proven* to enhance confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical, community and team challenges. It is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to all young people to dream big and realise their potential. 

Gaisce is non-competitive and self-directed: participants progress along each award level (Bronze, Silver or Gold) choosing personal, physical and community activities they wish to undertake and taking part in an adventure journey also. A trained adult mentor, their President’s Award Leader (PAL), supports them throughout the process. The more time and energy participants give, the greater the reward. 

Young people who complete the Gaisce programme, receive a medal and certificate signed by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. Should they progress to achieve a Gold award, Michael D. Higgins presents them with this at a special ceremony in Dublin Castle. 

Gaisce is active across all 26 counties and, through the Joint Award Initiative, an innovating partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, young people living in Northern Ireland are able to achieve a Gaisce Award at any level too. Through a partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Gaisce Awards are also recognised internationally. 

Since its inception in 1985, over 370,000 young people have participated in the Gaisce programme. Today, more than 25,000 young people register for the Gaisce challenge each year, pursuing the award through more than 850 organisations (Gaisce Award Partners) located right across the country. In any one year, Gaisce supports these organisations and the more than 1,200 President Award Leaders (PALs) working and volunteering in them to mentor young people through their Gaisce journey. 

Gaisce celebrates the individuality of each participant and ensures while there are many pathways to achieving a Gaisce Award, each Gaisce journey is as unique and expansive as our participants determine and equally recognised. 

For more information, please visit 

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Course Outcomes

  • Engage in a basic two-way conversation - an exchange of information
  • Be able to comprehend a simple question and answer type conversation
  • To equip learners with the skills to sign basic story passage i.e. Information giving
  • Develop basic receptive/comprehension skills
  • Creating a basic awareness of Deaf Culture and present the positive view of Deaf people as a linguistic minority group

Mission Statement

It is the aspiration of Deaf Communications to bridge communication barriers between Deaf people and society in general. To provide an understanding of the variations in both cultures, to resolve intercultural miscommunication and misunderstanding, throughout general interaction within society. 

Deaf Communications have a special interest in developing ISL materials that will benefit both Deaf and hearing people.

Deaf Communications

+353 86 257-3366 |

2021 - Deaf Communications by S Veres