A three-day international workshop on ‘Importance of Indian Sign Language (ISL) in Deaf Education’ began at the Akkulam campus of National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) here today with experts emphasising the need to equip and empower deaf students through innovative knowledge methods like sign language in educational institutions.
The workshop aims to share experiences of those teaching in deaf schools and colleges and the appropriate communication mode for effectively teaching the hearing impaired students, gather ideas about the modifications required in pedagogy and discuss innovative methods to impart knowledge.
“It is necessary for us to ensure that the students who pass through our programme are as good as, if not better than, those who pass through similar programmes of other institutions. It is necessary that they need to survive in this competitive world; they need to be employed not because they are deaf but because they are capable of doing the kind of work that is expected of them,” NISH Director G Vijayaraghavan said while inaugurating the workshop.
“ISL is a new language compared to many international sign languages. ISL is not a gesture; there are set standards and each teacher should ensure that they are following that language,” he added.
Vijayaraghavan also suggested that the sign language should not be mixed with the deaf culture as both are distinctly different. ISL helps to convey things better which is something very important, he noted.
NISH Executive Director Dr Samuel N Mathew said the workshop would provide a platform for the participants to share, interact and gain the maximum out of it.
“The focus of education should not be profit, but commitment. We aim at an all rounded development of students at NISH. ISL is an important programme of teaching which is used as a significant tool in our classes,” he pointed out.
“A lot of our students’ skills have gone unnoticed in early life due to negligence. We are trying to get them back these skills and make them competent graduates so that they will be successful in life,” Mathew said.
Experts in the field and faculty members from NISH will lead the lectures, discussions and interactive sessions with the educators reflecting each other’s methodology and own practices during the course of the workshop.
The workshop will have talks by experts including Dr Madan Vasishta (former Associate Professor of Gallaudet University, US), Rajesh Ketkar (Director of Ishara Foundation and General Secretary of Mook Badhir Mandal, Vadodara), Jagdeep Kaur (Head of Academics, Bajaj Institute of Learning, Dehradun) and Sunil Sahasrabudhe (Consultant, Signex India).
The workshop concludes on March 3.
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