BU offers sign language diploma

BU offers sign language diploma

A diploma course in Indian Sign Language Interpreters is in the offing at Bangalore University from the following academic year 2013-14.

The course is being offered to enable inclusiveness of hearing-impaired into the mainstream. It will be facilitated by Dr S R Chandrasekhar Institute of Speech and Hearing. Falling under the Department of Psychology, it is being looked at as an initiative that will fill the large gap between the number of sign language interpreters and hearing-impaired in the country.

Delayed MoU

The decision is based on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Bangalore University and Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). Though the MoU was signed in November 2003, it was not implemented till now.

“We hope to empower the hearing-impaired citizens. More than a million people across the country require help with sign language while there are hardly a few thousand trainers available. This course will enhance the number of trainers,” said Prof G Mohan Kumar, under whose chairmanship the course was approved.
Course details?

The course will be conducted as per the guidelines of RCI. The diploma course will be for one year with three levels: non-professional, semi-professional and professional interpreters.

Students will learn advanced sign language grammar, including creative use of sign language. They will get a peek into sign language vocabulary, which will give an understanding of semantics, existing terminology, issues in vocabulary development for sign language.

The course prescribes gaining knowledge of advocacy of hearing-impaired rights, their education, access to information and also learning about medical reasons for hearing-impairment and how it can be prevented.

The course will also prepare students to be professional interpreters, and will give them opportunities to make use of their knowledge in practical situations.

Training on-going

Margaret Joseph, Sign Language coordinator at Dr Chandrashekar Institute of Speech and Hearing, explained that the institute was currently training officials of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited in sign language to make their customer care disabled-friendly.

“We have trained 50 people. We are looking at expanding the training to BMTC services, airport and restaurants,” she added, talking about public spaces in which sign language training needs to take shape.

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