Why Is Sign Language Important for the Deaf? | IWD 2022 | English
International Week of the Deraf 2022 is here! To learn about the importance of Sign Language watch our latest video!
What is so special about 23rd September 2022? It is international Day of Sign Languages! There are around 300 Sign Languages around the world like BSL, ASL, JSL, etc. And in India, we have ISL. ISL is used by whom? By all Deaf Indians as it is their native language! Since the Deaf can not hear or speak, they are emboldened by Sign Language. Sign Language has its own grammar, words, expressions, feelings, etc. Deaf individuals are able to clearly understand through Sign Language.
It contains no spoken words. It is totally visuals and silent but holds so much meaning and clarity. We will all celebrate ISL on 23rd September 2022.Do you know what is this first thing a child should be given at birth? It is education. Education enables the child to progress in life, gain knowledge, own a business, work, etc. Education is important. Correct? You all know this. Similarly the Deaf too can advance in life and become educated intellectual professionals. So what should they recieve first? Sign Language. With an education through Sign Language, they will prosper, pakka.
Any spoken language like Hindi, Tamil, etc. should be taught along with Sign Language. Sign Language and English, Sign Language and Hindi, Sign Language and Tamil, With this the Deaf will grasp information and thrive. This is called 'Bilingual Education'. With Bilingual Education, Deaf indivuals will surely succeed. This is a fact. However, when I look at India, I am not at all happy.
Why? Well teachers across the country are encouraging oralism over Sign Language. The Deaf are made to sit through aggressive forms of speech therapy and the entire focus is on making them speak. When they finally utter a word, they are applauded for it. However, they gain no knowledge out of this. There is no success. The Deaf learn to speak but end up facing many barriers in life. Instead of shunning Sign Language. It must be given to the Deaf so that they can succeed. India has made amazing advancements in technology. There is digital education and so many other innovations. India is at the top in terms of tech. But we are a FAILURE when it comes to "accessibility". The Deaf remain stagnant with no scope of growth. Hold on. In Deaf schools, some teachers tie the students hands and completely focus on making them speak. They think it is the best form of education.
Honestly, the Deaf are fed up with all this. During the break or when they go out after school, what do they do? Speak? No, they detest speaking and use their hands to communicate as they feel the free talk, share ideas, etc. Conversations in Sign Language have no limit and they can go on and on! Whereas oral communication is very limited and is filled with misunderstandings. A small percentage have excelled with oralism but a large chunk prefers Sign Language as they are not weighed down. Sign Language is their native language! They feel weighed down by oralism. All forms of oralism have failed and a large percentage of Deaf people never succeed. However, the government fails to see this and have never encouraged Sign Language. They have always encouraged Oralism and I am very sadened by this. Do you want to see a Deaf person grow up to be a qualified professional? First, give them Sign Language and bilingual education.
They will pakka, 100% succeed in life! This is for sure. Change your thinking. Oralism is the wrong way. Sign Language will surely lead to success. For all those who are interested in learning ISL and making bonds with the Deaf, well ISH Shiksha has a 1 month course for you! Those who have no time for the class, then ISH Shiksha releases YouTube shorts about different signs everyday! Learn a new sign everyday and watch how your conversations with the Deaf improve. It will foster a strong bond between Deaf & hearing! So go learn ISL!