In an unprecedented move, the government on Friday launched the ‘First Indian Sign Language Dictionary of 3000 words’ in New Delhi. The dictionary was launched by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot. Developed by the Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLR&TC) under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) and M/o Social Justice & Empowerment, the dictionary consists of words of five categories – everyday terms, legal terms, academic terms, technical terms and medical terms.
While addressing the gathering, Gehlot said that the dictionary has been launched with an aim to remove communications barriers between the deaf and hearing communities. He said that the dictionary focuses on providing more information in Indian sign language and added that its aim is to give deaf people the constitutional right to speech and opportunity of freedom of expression and also bringing them into the mainstream of the society.
Here are the five categories of this dictionary:
1. Everyday Terms – This category includes words that are used in everyday communication. The videos in this category contain the sign and their corresponding English term.
2. Legal Terms – With 237 videos for the legal terms, this category helps in explaining complicated legal terminology like ‘Affidavit’ and ‘Acquittal’, etc that are used in various legal situations.
3. Academic Terms – This category will help the kids understand complex academic concepts with terms like ‘Nervous System’, ‘Rotation’ and ‘Revolution’, etc from various subjects like Physics, Geography, Biology, Maths, etc. This category contains 229 videos for 212 terms.
4. Medical Terms – There are 200 sign videos in this category for 200 medical terms that will help the deaf community to better understand medical terminology used in hospitals and in medical situations.
5. Technical Terms – This category has 206 videos of sign and explanations for 204 technical terms that are used in vocational training or in computer courses.
The ISLR and TC have been working on this dream project for last 18 months to benefit 50,71,007 deaf and 19,98,535 dumb people (according to Census 2011) in the country. The English and Hindi terms for the dictionary will also help deaf children to learn English.