NISH workshop stresses use of Indian Sign Language as learning aid

Three day workshop noted the importance of ISL in the holistic development of deaf children

Thiruvananthapuram, March 05: The importance of Indian Sign Language (ISL) in the early-stage holistic development of deaf children and in their higher education was reiterated at a recent three-day international workshop at The National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) campus in Aakulam.


Around 60 deaf educators from various special schools in Kerala and outside the state and from Denmark participated in the workshop, titled ‘Importance of Indian Sign Language in Deaf Education’, which ran from Wednesday (March 1) to Friday (March 03). The workshop imparted ISL training for the deaf educators from different schools.


“We have enough people to ensure that human rights commitments are both adhered to and recognised and enforced by the law. Technological advancements support the development of specially-abled people. But the need of the hour is a change in the attitude of the people towards the specially-abled,” said NISH Executive Director Dr. Samuel N. Mathew.


“When specially-abled people, who lead successful, fulfilling lives, step into the limelight, it will help change the prejudices of the common people. Workshops like this can bring together such people who have attained great heights by their determination and hard work,” he said.


The workshop included sessions helmed by experts in the field of deaf education. There was also an interactive seminar with the Director of Higher Secondary Education, Ms Jaya M.S. IAS, who listened to problems faced by the teachers and provided assurances of her help in finding solutions to the various concerns aired.


An array experts put across their viewpoints, 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).


There were also group discussions for the participants to discuss their problems and shed light on different methods followed in deaf education. NISH faculty members Ms Daisy Sebastian, Dr. Satheesh Kumar, Ms Shirly G, Ms Raji Gopal, Ms Chithra Prasad AN, Dr. Anu Mukund, Mr Prasanth RL, Ms Lisha C, Ms Raji NR, Ms Parvathy Pavithran, Ms Anu J Rajan and Ms Silvy Maxi Mena presented effective strategies to teach deaf students using ISL.


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