National conference on “Empowering Deaf Through Indian Sign Language” begins

Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot today said a comprehensive Indian Sign Language Dictionary was the need of the hour to facilitate communication with hearing disabled people who mostly depend on interpreters during their conversations.
Inaugurating a two-day national conference on “Empowering Deaf through Indian Sign Language,” Mr Gehlot said the lack of sufficient numbers of interpreters often made it very difficult for the hearing disabled to communicate.
“Indian Sign Language is a natural language which can work like any other natural language. Even the parents and family members of the deaf persons should be aware of sign language so that their grooming can be comfortable,” he added.
The Minister expressed the hope that the conference would be successful in elevating Indian Sign Language to the position it rightfully deserved. He applauded the efforts of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) in the holistic development of the deaf persons through Indian Sign Language.
Mr. Krishan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Mr. N.S Kang., Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chief Commissioner of Disability and Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Joint Secretary, DEPwD were present.
The conference has been organized by ISLRTC, an autonomous organization of DEPwD under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Mr Gurjar, in his address, said the establishment of ISLRTC was a dream of deaf persons which has been fulfilled. He called upon people to cooperate with the deaf persons. A publication on the National Conference was also released on the occasion.
The objective of the conference is to provide a common platform to the professionals involved in the field of Deaf Education, Indian Sign Language, Sign Linguistics, Bilingualism, Interpreter education, and various other related topics.
The conference is being conducted in three languages to facilitate complete inclusion -- Hindi, English and Indian Sign Language.
Eminent speakers and experts from this field from India and abroad are attending the conference, including teachers in special schools, inclusive schools, educators, administrators, sign language interpreters and allied professionals involved in the deaf education, advocacy, linguists and language studies.
The conference sessions are on topics such as the need of Indian Sign Language as medium of instruction for the Education of the Deaf learners at the Primary, Secondary and Higher classes. 
A comprehensive Indian Sign Language Dictionary to facilitate communication, to create a basic database for further policy making, advocacy and wide use of ISL is being emphasized in this conference.
The main objectives of the ISLRTC are to develop manpower for using, teaching and conducting research in Indian Sign Language (ISL), to promote the use of ISL as an educational mode, to carry out research in collaboration with universities, national and international bodies to create linguistic records in ISL, to train and orient various professionals and to collaborate with organizations of the Deaf.


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