Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Indira Gandhi National Open University has launched a Bachelor of Arts programme in Applied Sign Language to prepare hearing-impaired students for higher education. The programme, which began in September, aims to create sign language teachers and professionals to support the hearing-impaired since there is a lack of teaching assistants and interpreter trainers in India.Launched by IGNOU’s Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education, the programme has been developed in collaboration with the International Centre for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies, University of Central Lancashire in Britain.The course will help students develop confidence and empower them through education so that they can stand up for their rightful entitlements such as equal opportunity in education and employment.

All students are taught sign language and English. There are also theory classes and practical lessons. Students are given computer lessons which will assist them in learning and teaching.

The programme has a duration of 1+3 years. The first year constitutes the foundation course, which will culminate in the four-year degree programme in sign language.