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We conduct classes in ISL with the help of our interpreter and deaf users and advocates of ISL for those
who're looking for
a) Basic conversational ISL skills.
b) Understanding ways the Deaf and Hearing people can communicate.
c) An understanding of Hearing Impairment and related issues
d) Exploring how ISL can be used to break barriers in the personal, educational, vocational and social
e) New friends among the deaf
f) Exploring ISL benefits and solutions for people with other disabilities
Disclaimer: Our course aims at popularising ISL - imparting basic ISL skills to the hearing and hearing impaired to encourage mainstreaming of the deaf - and exploring different applications and benefits
of signing. It is not an 'ISL instructor/ interpreter' course.
Some interesting facts!
ISL has not been recognised as an official language in India. Yet millions of Hearing Impaired and hearing people sign and understand each other around the world!
There is no institute in Pune which teaches ISL formally . There are no fully qualified interpreters or instructors in Pune. Yet, very recently, there was THIS article in the TOI !!!
We all sign...we may not understand the discipline of sign as a definite language, but we do what we have to in order to be understood. We sign when we meet someone who doesn't speak the same languages as us. We sign across sound proof glass. We sign when we don't want someone to hear what is being communicated. We sign when we're talking on the phone..even though the other person cannot see us gesticulating.In a country like ours where Cricket is almost a religion, we understand and wait for every sign from the Umpire.
Indian Sign Language is not about miming or gesticulation or dance mudras. It has a definite grammar and syntac.
All along we've marginalised those who cannot speak due to deafness or other conditions. People in India have always prefered speech therapy over ISL. Why teach the deaf to speak? Because it is easier. For whom? Those who can hear.
Speech therapy is wonderful. Lip reading is great too. But Signing is natural. Two deaf people left alone will take their hearing aids off and sign. Visit any school for the deaf and watch the children revert to signing the moment the 'hearing' teacher steps out of the class.
Sign Language needn't replace speech therapy. It can compliment and supplement it. There is plenty of published evidence that it doesn't retard speech development. And Sign isn't only for the deaf. A google search online will reveal where else Sign Language can help.
Here is a fantastic link to explain. We'd like you to read most if not all of it.
Why must we all learn to sign?
Why do some of us learn German? Or Japanese? To converse with those who speak those languages. Why then isn't it necessary to learn to converse with the deaf? They are not ess intelligent than us. They just don't always speak the same language as we do.
There is a need to educate and employ the deaf...mainstream them in every sense of the word. Wouldn't it be lovely to see deaf kids playing with hearing kids in a park and having no trouble communicating?
It happens in most developed countries, why not ours?
Who MUST learn to sign? [we
believe everybody should]
* People who work with children who have learning or speech related issues with or without deafness.
* Teachers of the deaf.
* Teachers in inclusive schools
* People in the service industry, armed forces, legal, medical, entertainment fields...
* Those looking for careers as interpreters for the deaf.
* Deaf instructors.
* Those who'd like to be friends with the deaf.
* Most importantly - Parents and family of the deaf.