A two day National Conference entitled “Empowering Deaf through Indian Sign Language” was inaugurated by Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment here today. Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri. N.S Kang., Secretary, DEPwD, Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chief Commissioner of Disability and Shri Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Joint Secretary, DEPwD were present. The Conference has been organized by Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), an autonomous organization of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.Delivering inaugural address, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot said that the Deaf people mostly depend on the Interpreter during their conversation and due to lack of sufficient number of Interpreters, it becomes very difficult for them to communicate. That is why a comprehensive Indian Sign Language Dictionary is the need of the hour to facilitate their communication. 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 also be aware of Sign language so that their grooming can be comfortable. He hoped that this two day long National conference will be successful in elevating Indian Sign Language to the position it rightfully deserves. He applauded the efforts of ISLRTC in the holistic development of the Deaf persons through Indian Sign Language and wished grand success of the all the participant Deaf persons.
Krishan Pal Gurjar in his address said that the establishment of ISLRTC was a dream of Deaf persons which has been fulfilled. He called upon people to cooperate with Deaf persons. Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey and Shri N. S. Kang also addressed. 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 i.e. Hindi, English and Indian Sign Language. Eminent speakers and experts from this field from India & abroad have been invited. The participants include 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 session includes topics which include 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 which is the need of the hour to facilitate communication, to create a basic database for further policy making, advocacy and wide use of ISL is being emphasized in this conference.Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) is an autonomous organization of the Government of India established under Society Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. 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.