Mysuru: International Day of Sign Languages was observed at All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysuru, with the theme “Sign Language Rights for All”. The programme was inaugurated by J.V. Mahesh Varma, President, Mysore District Deaf Association.
Speaking on the occasion, he narrated the influence of Sign Language in his life and explained how he was able to overcome the barriers through effective use of this.
He mentioned that knowledge of Sign Language helped him to excel in sports, especially chess and was instrumental in getting third prize in the 3rd National Deaf Chess Championship held at Mysuru in January 2007.
Stating that the sign language helped him to achieve vocational skills in furniture manufacturing, he urged persons with disability to use sign language effectively to excel in their life.
Prof. N Sreedevi, HoD, Clinical Services, AIISH, said that the objective of International Sign Language Day is to raise awareness on sign languages and strengthen the status of sign languages. This day is celebrated annually by the global Deaf Community to commemorate the same month in which the first World Congress of the WFD was held.
Prof. M. Pushpavathi, Director, AIISH, mentioned that sign languages are fully fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from the spoken languages. There is also an international sign language, which is used by deaf people in international meetings and informally when travelling and socialising. She added that observing this day at AIISH shows the commitment of the Institute to promote sign language as an alternative mode of communication.
AIISH Signers’ Club initiated by the Department of Special Education was inaugurated on this occasion. The Club is open to staff and students of AIISH and intends to promote skills for spontaneous and fluent manual communication skills among rehabilitators serving individuals with communication disorders.
Prof. P. Manjula, HoD, Special Education, informed that the Club shall be meeting weekly once in the afternoon of Saturdays for two hours at the Library and Information Centre of AIISH.
The first half of the session shall be spent on enriching academic and technical vocabulary among the members, and the second hour shall involve edutainment activities like narrating stories, sharing jokes and riddles in sign language which will facilitate spontaneity and fluency.
Prof. Ajish K. Abraham, Chairperson – AAC Unit, coordinated the event. The full day programme included an orientation for staff, students and care givers of special children, followed by competitions in sign language.
Rubby, Sign Language Teacher, welcomed and Rajkumar, Special Educator, proposed a vote of thanks.