NEW DELHI: To equip the deaf and hearing impaired persons with the vocabulary to understand and communicate on terms related to bonds, equities, trade life cycle and financial markets and retail banking, the government has included 260 signs of financial terms in the ‘Indian Sign Language’.
The ISL dictionary currently has 10,000 terms and according to officials work is on to bolster it further. The department of empowerment of persons with disabilities (DEPwD) under the ministry of social justice and empowerment government is aiming to reach a total of 30,000 terms in the years ahead.
Sharing these details on Saturday, observed as International Day of Sign Languages, officials at the DEPwD said that inclusion of financial terms for the first time in ISL will be useful for deaf and even hearing people working together in financial and banking sectors. “The project will help improve the employment prospects of deaf job-seeking youth,” they said.
Developed by Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) in collaboration with Societe Generale and v-shesh, the financial terms have been developed and validated by deaf persons and the employees working in banks and financial companies. According to officials the process also saw the involvement of financial experts.
As per Census 2011 India has over 50 lakh deaf persons. While the next Census will tell the exact number of persons with this disability, for now the only real-time database of disabled persons where details of PwDs are available is the number of Unique Disability ID (UDID) cards issued. Going by data of 90.16 lakh UDID card holders in the public domain there are around 8.83 lakh persons ID holders categorised as being hearing imparied.
DEPwD secretary, Rajesh Aggarwal said that the department is soon going to release the block level data of the UDID database. The district-level data has already been released.
Aggarwal said that the department will be identifying the top 100 districts or blocks with the highest number of deaf and hearing impaired holding UDID cards. The department will then reach out to hospitals in those areas and create a mechanism and provide machines and support to enable early detection, treatment, support aids and connect the persons with disabilities and their families with sign language.
To bridge the gap between the hearing impaired and those who can hear by helping them develop basic communication skills in Indian Sign Language an online self-learning course was also launched on Saturday.

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