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Friday, 03 February 2012 13:14
  • Training Course for the teachers of the Deaf in use of ISS-TC for teaching language to the Deaf Children.
  • Certificate course of 2 months for Vocational instruction in integrated setup.
  • Certificate course for Multiple-purpose Rehabilitation workers Under NPRPD Scheme, Govt. of India.
  • Training Courses for Community Based Rehabilitation working for NPRPD Scheme.
  • Short termrefresher Programme in Rehabilitation Psychology.

Institutions desirous of running above short courses may contact,

Member Secretary, RCI

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Sign Language Interpreter Course


Lack of proper communication causes a lot of setback which are detrimental to any individual's well being. In order to assist the deaf individuals, Sign Language Interpreters are required in all walks of life especially to provide access to Social, Educational, Vocational and Economic opportunities, as well as to provide the means for safeguarding the interests of individuals in such fundamentals as health care/hazards and justice in the legal system.
(abbreviations : ISL = Indian Sign Language, SL = Sign Language)

For the purpose of preparing Interpreters, it is proposed to provide the training at two levels.

It is essential that the person should be a fluent user of Sign Language to be eligible for entry on a training course for Interpreters. Therefore at the first level of the training hearing persons who wish to become Interpreters will have to undergo training and assessment in use of Sign Language. The training course, thus, at the first level would be:

Training and assessment in use of Indian Sign Language (ISL Training Course) :

Training at the second level would be for the Interpreters, which will aim at training and assessment of Sign Language users as skilled Interpreters. (ISL Interpreters' Course).

Since this is the first time that such a course is being conducted in India, it will be treated as a Pilot project. The details of the first course i.e. Training and assessment in use of Indian Sign Language are provided below :


  1. Objective :
    1. raining Hearing person as ISl Users for the purpose of communicating effectively with deaf persons who are familiar with ISL
    2. Giving hearing persons adequate skills as ISL users so that they can in turn become tutors on ISL. Training Courses.
    3. Giving hearing persons adequate skills to become fluent users of ISL, so that they can, if they wish, pursue the training as ISL interpreters at least for their regions.
    4. Setup a Registry of ISL Interpreters.
  2. Grades in Training Course : The course will be provided at two grade levels. Grade-I and Grade-II.

    Grade-I course: This will be an introduction to the Indian Sign Language.

    Grade-II course: This will aim at expertise in use of ISI.

  3. Batches : Each batch will be of minimum 10 or maximum 15 persons.

  4. Duration :
    1. 15 days at a stretch (8 hours a day ) OR
    2. Weekend course (4 hours a day) for 30 weekends (i.e. 4 months).

  5. Course Content
    1. Grade-I :
      1. Signs for 500 basic functional vocabulary items.
      2. 100-150 conversational sentences including statements questions and instructions.
      3. Interacting with the deaf (5 sessions - each session of 2 hours).
      4. Assessment - mainly practicals.
    2. Grade-II :
      1. Signs for about 1500 words/ concepts.
      2. 300 conversational sentences.
      3. Ability to converse in general on several topics of interest and practical use e.g visit to hospital, friends place, school, bank, market, travel etc.

Teaching Language to the Deaf Children

  6. Top of Page
  1. Explanation of the Key terms used in this proposal

    TC : Total communication approach utilizes every form of input available to present the vocabulary, complete sentences and grammatical language concepts to hearing impaired children. It involves oral skills, signing finger spelling, auditory training, reading/writing, any form of communication which stimulates a child to develop conceptual thinking acquire language, and encourage him/her to express thoughts in the correct language order.

    The TC approach seems to be a more practical approach as it accepts the limitations imposed on the child's abilities by his handicap, and then sets out to provide a suitable and facile way out. As one can see, TC has all the elements of oralism. This sign per word system (contrived systematic signed/manually coded, language) thus adequately supports the fragments of speech that are heard or seen on lips by a deaf person.

    TC has seen a tremendous growth in acceptance among educators in U.K., France, U.S.A, China, Singapore. Australia, Scandinavian countries and Benauleux countries (Holland, France, Germany).
  2. SIGN LANGUAGE (SL) is the visual gestural language of the deaf community. It cannot be written or spoken. It is a language in its own right and have a linguistic structure very different from that of the spoken languages. There is no such thing as a universal sign language. Many of the signs used by the deaf differ from place to place and region to region. But it has been observed that two deaf persons from different regions can very well adapt to a level of communication which is uncommon in the hearing world.
  3. ISL-Indian Sign Language as is used by the deaf community in India.
  4. ISS-Indian Signing System: A system of signs/manual code for the vocabulary and grammatical items in Indian language. It is mandatory in the use of this system to use signs along with speech i.e. simultaneously. Many of the signs in ISS are an adaptation from ISL excluding the grammatical structure.

    In ISS, while the signs for the content words would remain the same across languages, there would be some difference in signing the function words/some grammatical elements of each Indian language. Work on six Indian languages has already been done by Dr. Prabha Ghate who is currently designated as the Project Director of the RCI Sign Language Project.
  5. ISS-TC :ISS as part of TC (Total Communication):
  6. IMA -Indian Manual Alphabet: There are some 50 speech sounds and the letters representing these in our Indo-Aryan and Dravidian Languages. The handshapes representing these sounds/letters are called finger spelling and the system is termed IMA.


Deaf children have very special educational needs. In many ways they require qualitatively different services from the hearing children, such as specific communication methods and teaching techniques, and a special curriculum for the purpose of development of concepts and a sound language foundation. Hearing children begin school with a well developed oral language system which is used as the medium for their instruction and which is the basis for development of reading and writing skills. As against this, for most deaf children, a primary overriding goal is to develop the basic language skills before they begin their formal academic education.

The premise on which the advocacy of the ISS-TC approach is based are as follows :

  1. Verbal language is necessary for education.
  2. Language development is dependent upon the complete input of the raw material of language to enable a child to abstract and internalize the system of the language spoken around him.
  3. All children including the straight forward deaf children have the brain potential to acquire language and speech skills. But this natural and normal process of development of language and speech does not take place in case of born deaf or a prelingually profoundly deaf child automatically without proper intervention.
  4. Learning-teaching an auditory based vocal system of language in the absence of the sense of hearing is an extremely difficult and complex process.
  5. Some deaf children who are fortunate to have the benefits of early intervention with very sophisticated electronic devices and education of good quality, may benefit from pure oral-aural approach; but what happens top others ? In most cases, these children leave schools with inadequate language skills even after years of special schooling and tutoring.
  6. It is felt that the ISS-TC will help immensely in making the input of language facile and complete and aid acquisition of a language system. The combined use of signs and spoken words adequately support the incomplete and ambiguous patterns of speech that are heard or seen on lips. (this has to be supported by an appropriate language program to suit the interests and maturity level of the child).
  7. The TC approach is considered to be a more humane and practical approach as it accepts the limitations imposed on the child's abilities by his handicap and then sets out to provide a suitable and facile way out.
  8. As the child begins to acquire the basics of language and some speech, more time then can be devoted to sharpening his tip-reading skills, listening skills, and literacy levels.

The specific form of TC approach that is proposed to be used for this training course will have ISS-Indian Signing System, as its major component and the teachers will be given training mainly in the use of ISS along with training in techniques in using the special curriculum for the development of basic language and speech skills.

The research findings indicate that great damage could be done through not introducing manual media to the child who proves eventually to have needed such intensive help. However, before definitive statements can be made in support of either TC or Oral approach for more carefully designed research must be carried out. For that it would be necessary to have an adequate number of deaf children who are tutored through ISS-TC approach for a sufficient period of time.


It goes without saying that the teachers who wish to use TC approach, should be thoroughly trained in using techniques of implementing the signing system and the special language curriculum. As per Nicolas Griffey, the use of manual communication in conjunction with speech is a highly skilled and most specialized form of education. And if teaching methodology using manual and oral mode of communication is to be used to its full potential, it will be essential that these be used by properly prepared teachers. Only then the teachers would be able to plan, develop and implement activities that will increase the quality and effectiveness of education for the deaf students who are generally considered academically at risk and who require more effectual educational support.


The main purpose of this course is to prepare teachers skilled in use of ISS-TC who may in turn develop model classes for demonstration and observation and be able to train more teachers in use of ISS-TC approach. When ISS-TC is used for a sufficiently long period with at least a few groups of deaf children only then one can think of carrying out a study on effectiveness of the approach in the Indian setting.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 14:08

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