CBM, has been contributing to the research on creation of Indian Sign Language and development of Indian Sign Language Dictionary for decades now.
Our first research project (1978-80) was in partnership with by National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped, India (NASEOH), Helen Keller Institute of Deaf-Blind and the Vijaya Shikshan Sanstha, Bombay, on Total Communication for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing . The outcomes of the research were published in a book entitled “Talking Hands” which included information about sign language with 2500 signs. It was designed to bridge the communication gap between teachers, parents of deaf children and within the deaf community. It contained common signs for different words in Hindi, English, Marathi and Gujarati simultaneously aiming at a standard system of signs to be followed by teachers, parents and students alike. It has been much used by professionals.
In the year 1997 CBM conducted a seminar on ‘Total Communication – The Right to Choose’. The concept of Indian Sign Language development and the decision to come up with a common Indian sign language dictionary were among the other outcomes of the seminar. CBM after discussions with the task force of this initiative assigned Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya College of Education this project.
CBM in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Coimbatore Campus, Tamil Nadu, published the first edition of Indian Sign Language (ISL) dictionary in English in 2001. The second and third revised Bi-lingual editions in English-Tamil and English-Hindi were brought out in February 2015 and February 2016 respectively. The dictionary is aimed at promoting use of ISL among parents, teachers, family members and other professionals, which in turn will be an aid to social inclusion of persons with hearing impairment.
The dictionaries have been well received and is in big demand with both national and private institutes, schools and colleges, non-governmental organisations and even in the corporate sector who are using it to promote an inclusive work culture within their organisation.
Please find below few links, which may be helpful for reference:
CBM India Trust has recently also extended support to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Social justice and Empowerment, Government of India and the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) by sharing the materials developed by CBM and partners in bringing out a comprehensive sign language dictionary for the country.
We look forward and hope that sign language is legally and officially recognised in India soon.