‘International Sign Languages Day’ was celebrated at a virtual function organized by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), an autonomous body under DEPwD, M/o Social Justice and Empowermenthere today. United Nations has declared 23rd September as International Sign Language Day. The theme of this year is ‘Sign Languages are for everyone’ with a view to enhancing awareness about Sign language and expanding its reach to everyone.
SmtShakuntala D. Gamlin, Secretary, DEPwDwas the Chief Guest and Dr. Prabodh Seth, JS, DEPwD& Director, ISLRTC presided over the virual function. Shri V. Gopal Krishnan, General Secretary, All India Federation of Deaf, Shri. A.S. Narayanan, President, National Association of the Deaf and Dr. Usha Punjabi, Vice President of All India Foundation of the Deaf Women were also present in the function.
Addressing on the occasion, SmtShakuntala D. Gamlinsaid that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 recognizes Sign Language as a means of communication. Realising the importance of Sign language for persons with hearing impairment, the Government has set up the ISLRTC in 2015 to promote usage, teaching and research in Indian Sign language that brings people closer and unites them. Technology coupled with sign language has helped us in improving our modes of expressions and sublime philosophy of oneness by bridging the distance created by different languages and geographical distribution. She mentioned thatSign Language is a scientific language that is silently expressed through Signs and gestures: so sublime and harmonious with nature which binds us together through its uniform standards and modes. She highlighted the contribution of ISLRTC for the well-being of persons with hearing disabilities during the lockdown by the way of developing sign language videos of important guidelines/protocols/advisories during the lockdown relating to COVID 19.
In his address Dr. Prabodh Seth mentioned about various projects, courses and awareness programmes being carried out by ISLRTC and the projects of ISLRTC namely ISL dictionary and DEAF-NP Project. He said that 4000 words and expressions will be added to ISL dictionary having 6000 words at present. He mentioned about the two important courses being run by ISLRTC, namely Diploma in Indian Sign Language Interpretation (DISLI) and Diploma in Teaching Indian Sign Language (DTISL).
On this occasion, ISLRTC declared the winners of the award of the 3rd Indian Sign language Competition 2020 conducted at Pan-Indian level through digital platform amongst Diploma in Teaching Indian Sign Language (DTISL) and Diploma in Indian Sign Language Interpretation (DISLI) students across India.