Thiruvananthapuram: As the International Day of Sign Languages is being globally observed for the first time on September 23, the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) here has tied up with leading Malayalam television channels for the simultaneous interpretation in Indian sign language along with the audio-visual newscast for a week.
The institute is providing the service of its sign language interpreters for the newscast by the channels during the week, in a unique collaboration with media to popularise the use of sign language to bring the deaf and hard of hearing to the mainstream.
As the country’s premier institute dedicated to education and rehabilitation of individuals with hearing impairment, NISH has also chalked a series of week-long events to mark the International Week of the Deaf, starting from September 24.
Kerala Governor, Shri Justice (Retd.) P Sathasivam, will inaugurate the programme at the NISH campus here on September 24. The Governor will also launch the video CD of the National Anthem in Indian sign language, put together by the students of NISH with the help of the faculty and experts at the institute.
According to Dr K G Satheesh Kumar, Executive Director NISH, five leading Malayalam news channels have agreed to carry sign language interpretation of news side-by-side their audio-visual newscast for a whole week.
“This is an initiative to send across the message that evolving and popularising sign language for the benefit of the hearing and speech impaired is vitally important. This also highlights the importance of a uniform sign language for the nation, as in the case of countries like America. This will ensure that the differently-abled community is not left out in any sphere of activity,” Dr Satheesh Kumar said.
As part of the week-long activities, literary competitions and cultural programmes in Indian sign language by the deaf and hard of hearing students from other such institutions of the state have been planned.
The institute has also arranged classes to educate the public and officials on Indian sign language.
Kerala’s Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran will be the chief guest at the concluding day programme on September 26. A sign language literacy drive among officials from different departments and organisations will be launched by NISH on September 26.