AIISH observes World Sign Languages’ Day

The Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) unit of the Department of Clinical Services and Department of Special Education of All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysuru recently observed the ‘International Day of Sign Languages’.

After the inaugural function with an address by AIISH Director M. Pushpavathi, a half-day orientation by Rajkumar R., Special Educator, Department of Special Education, AIISH, Mysuru was conducted. Introduction to sign language, finger spellings and numbers, basic vocabulary, sentence framing and grammar in Indian Sign Language were among the topics covered.

Nearly 800 participants from various parts of country took part in the orientation done on virtual platform. Participants here had interactive hands-on sessions. Reuben T. Varghese of AAC Unit and Sreevidya M.S., Department of Special Education, conducted a workshop.

In a release here, the AIISH said communication is the most common challenge faced by persons with hearing impairment. For persons with hearing impairment, sign language serves as a medium for expressing their needs, wants and emotions. On December 19, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly declared September 23 as the “International Day of Sign Languages” (IDSL) to raise awareness on the importance of sign language in the full realisation of the human rights of people who are hearing impaired.

The International Day of Sign Languages, according to AIISH, is a unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all people with hearing impairment and other sign language users. The 2021 theme, declared by the World Federation of the Deaf, is “We sign for human rights,” highlighting how each one of us – deaf and hearing people around the world – can work together hand-in-hand for promoting the recognition of our right to use sign languages in all areas of life, the release stated.

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