Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to celebrate ‘Sign Language Day’ today

New Delhi: On the occasion of Sign Language Day on Thursday (September 23, 2021), the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), an autonomous body within the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will embark on celebrations at the Dr Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi.

Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar will be the Chief Guest and Ministers of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Km. PratimaBhoumik and Shri A. Narayanswami will be the Guests of Honour. Smt. Anjali Bhawra, Secretary, DEPwD, Sh. Santosh Sarangi, Additional Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education and Dr. Prabodh Seth, Joint Secretary, DEPwD& Director, ISLRTC, Sh. V. Gopala Krishnan, General Secretary, All Indian Federation of Deaf will also grace the occasion.

The Ministry in a press release said that ever since the United Nations declared September 23 as the International Sign Language Day, the ISLRTC has celebrated it every year. The objective of the program is to sensitize the general public about the importance of Indian sign languages, and the information and communication accessibility for persons with hearing disabilities. 

Sign language not only plays an important role in educating people but also is vital in creating employment and vocational training for persons with hearing disabilities.

During the event, the Centre will present a documentary on the `Indian Sign Language Journey`, and also announce the winners of the 4th Indian Sign Language Competition, 2021 – a national-level competition held for students with hearing disabilities. The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment is also likely to hold live interactions with some of the winners from various parts of India to share their experiences.

ISLRTC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on October 6, 2020, for converting NCERT textbooks from Class I to XII into Indian Sign Language (digital format) to make the textbooks accessible to children with hearing disabilities. The first phase of the project for the conversion of Class I to V textbooks has been completed and e-Content thereof will be launched during the programme. 

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