Storytelling session & sign language help break down communication barriers at Bengaluru event
23 September every year is the International Day for Sign Languages and on its eve, 22 September, WinVinaya Foundation in Bengaluru held a special session and sign language awareness session.
Over 75 people across all ages, with and without disabilities, came together at a special session held by WinVinaya Foundation, the Bengaluru-based NGO that is impacting the livelihood of many young people with disabilities. At the session a special storytelling and sign language awareness session was held and everyone celebrate the Indian Sign Language.
Keeping them occupied and engrossed was Akila a special educator and seasoned storyteller along with her young team made up of people with partial vision, deafness and other disabilities. They kept the audience hooked with interesting stories while also introducing them to sign language. Participants were happy to learn finger spelling, how to spell their names and also wished Akila a very happy birthday as 22 September is also her birthday.
It was a rare opportunity for children to meet others their own age with disabilities, and a chance to realise that they were not alone in their struggles. Learning a new fun language was also a treat.
I really enjoyed the stories today. They were fun and we all laughed so much. I now also know a secret language to use with my friends that my parents do not - sign language. I will go talk about this in my school & ask everyone to learn sign language. - Sidhanth, Participant
Key to building a balanced and compassionate society are interactions like these which help bridge cultural inhibitions. Language offers a valuable took to help achieve that and an increased awareness of sign language among the hearing community will help start such conversation. The event was a critical step in that direction.