Mr. A.S. Narayanan, Secretary, Mrs. Geeta Sharma, Women Sectretary, Mr. Anuj Jain, Project Director and Ms. Angel Singha, Interpreter participated in Sign6, International Conference of Sign Language Users in Goa from 7th to 9th February 2013. This conference focuses on research on sign languages and deaf studies and a global scope is important for capacity building because Deaf communities are quite small in number in many countries.
Mr. Narayanan was one of three plenary presenters. He talked on the genesis of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre. The Indian Deaf community fought hard to get ISLRTC on the 11th Five Year Plan Document. There had been so many rallies, protests and meetings to bring this paper to life. And, on 4th October 2011, we had laid its foundation stone in IGNOU. This shows that slowly government is recognising Indian Sign Language and that day isn’t far when ISL would be one of the official languages of India.
There were several sessions like sign language and linguistics, community, culture and deaf education and the status of the same in South Asia. The mode of communication throughout was International Sign Language and Indian Sign Language. We received exposure on the grammatical functions of the A-handshape & the I-handshape in Korean Sign Language, age-related sociolinguistic variation in sign languages with particular reference to Nepali Sign Language, rethinking established concepts in Deaf Studies and many more. There were several critical issues discussed like work on sign language endangerment with UNESCO and how to put deaf women’s needs in every policy especially violence against women.