NISH set to launch course in sign language in India

Asia-Pacific, August 31 2016

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Sign language, a relatively unexplored domain, will now have an exclusive course in the city. National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) in Akkulam here is all set to launch a diploma course in sign language from October 1.

The course is aimed at training students in the core elements of Indian sign language (ISL). There are three levels in ISL, level A, level B and level C. Level C is the highest level. The students will be trained in all the three levels in a course spanning one year. Students who have completed graduation can apply for the course.

“The course is meant to revamp deaf education in the state. Students who are deaf are not being trained effectively even with regard to basic aspects of education, which will affect them later when they pursue higher education. It happens because properly trained language experts are not employed in educating deaf children. We want to create a pool of individuals trained in sign language who could impart their language to kids in schools,” said Samuel Mathew, executive director, NISH.

The institute had a hard time filling the posts of sign language expert and sign language interpreter for the course. Applications were invited so many times before two candidates could be finalized for conducting the course. The institute has recruited two sign language experts, one from Kerala and another person from Uttar Pradesh and a sign language interpreter for the course.

“There is a dearth of sign language experts in the state. We had to wait a long time before we could find the right persons,” said Mathew.

The first batch will have 20 students. NISH is already holding short-term courses for public in sign language. There have been requests from parents of kids who are deaf to learn sign language and the institute deputes its staff to conduct short-term courses. The short-term programme has already entered the fourth batch and one of the batches was from Technopark.

Source: Times of India

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