Conference: Innovation in Educational Approaches to Indian Sign Language (Delhi 10-11 June, 2011)



National Conference on “Innovation in Educational Approaches to Indian Sign Language”

Place: Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi

Date: 10-11 June 2011

Conference languages: English and Indian Sign Language

Registration: Access to the conference is free of cost; advance registration is requested through

Interpreting between English and Indian Sign Language provided


This 2-day national conference builds on the success of a project conducted by Indira Gandhi National Open University and the University of Central Lancashire (UK) with support from Ishara Foundation (a Deaf literacy NGO based in Mumbai) under the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). The initiative was agreed to by the Prime Ministers of the UK and India, and the Indian Sign Language project undertaken by IGNOU and its UK partner has received much attention in academic circles and in the media. Out of 97 research projects, it was chosen to be profiled in a British Council publication on “success stories” of the UKIERI programme. This conference aims at sharing some of the results of the project with a wide variety of stakeholders, as well as discussing future avenues for further research, development and implementation.

The main focus of this conference is to discuss models of integrating face-to-face and distance education in an environment that uses Indian Sign Language. Indian Sign Language is the natural language of the Indian Deaf Community, and has been used as a medium of instruction in various settings. This includes India’s first BA programme in Applied Sign Language Studies, which has been operating at IGNOU since 2009. Deaf students from India as well as a number of countries in Asia and Africa have joined this programme, and all classes are taught and assessed through Indian Sign Language. Similarly, the SIGN4 international conference of sign language users, held at IGNOU in 2009, was conducted entirely in sign language. An English literacy learning platform developed by the UKIERI project team is based on the use of sign language and has been used in combination with peer education. The educational approaches, tools and implementation policies piloted at IGNOU over the last few years can serve as a model to other programmes across India.

This national conference is for academics working in relevant areas, practitioners in Deaf Education, government departments and public service organisations, the NGO sector, and, last but not least, the Indian Deaf Community. We aim at exchanging information, models and visions for the use of Indian Sign Language in educational settings.

Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Workshop Coordinators care of

For those unable to attend, and especially for international colleagues who may not be able to attend due to the short notice, we plan to make some or all of the Workshop available as live simulcast via the internet. For more information on this, and for the latest, up-to-date version of the workshop programme check the BAASLS/IGNOU web-page:

in the weeks leading up to the workshop.

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