V-shesh courses aim to promote sign language communication, build deaf inclusion
Lack of awareness about Indian sign language and deaf culture has led to the deaf and hard of hearing community losing out on education and employment opportunities. Impact enterprise v-shesh is looking to change that with courses in basic sign language for people from diverse backgrounds.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought forth many challenges specific to the deaf and hard of hearing community around the world. Impact enterprise v-shesh that provides disabled people with training and job opportunities, is using the pandemic as an opportunity to address the challenges facing the community.
“The deaf community faces employment gaps due to many factors, a key one lacking awareness and empathy on employers’ part”, says P Rajashekharan, Co-founder, v-shesh. “There is no appreciation for deaf culture on the whole and people from the community also face a communication breakdown at home vis-a-vis their own parents”.
Three courses aimed at diverse groups
v-shesh is aiming to change this with their online education initiatives that target people from diverse backgrounds. They are:
- v-sign – This is a communication in Indian Sign Language offered at two levels, beginner and intermediate with deaf trainers imparting the lessons.
- Signbee – For kids between 8-13 years. The focus is on fun learning with skills in basic sign language given over a month with two classes per week.
- Parents course – Sign language lessons for parents of deaf children. This is a free course.
The aim is to improve the ecosystem for the deaf community towards improving employment skills. So far, we have covered 100 adults from companies, NGOs and special educators. We have taught 50 children until now and 40 parents from across India. – P Rajashekharan, Co-founder, v-shesh
The course covers deaf awareness, vocabulary building, learning to sign sentences, story building, and hand shapes.
Build greater understanding of deaf culture
“It is an interactive course using games, quizzes and other fun activities”, says Raheel Farooqui, a Deaf Trainer with v-shesh. “There is also regular homework and a final assessment done”.
The training, believes Raheel, will help more people understand the language and culture of deaf people. “Learning Indian sign language is the best way to do that. Sign Language session helps participants improve their understanding of ISL and communicate with deaf people. That means more interaction between deaf and hearing persons which is mutually beneficial and good for the deaf and hearing community”.
The classes are kept fun and interactive with participants getting the opportunity to interact with each other.
Ten-year-old Anshi, a participant in the first Signbee course, says she had fun learning sign language with her friends.
“We now have our own secret way of communicating with each other. It is also amazing to be able to communicate with a deaf person”. Her mother Bharathi says the course has exposed Anshi to a new world. “My child loved it. She was exposed to a whole new world of deaf and learnt an amazing life skill this summer”.
Rajshri Rajumar, a fifth-year student at MEASI Academy of Architecture, says the lessons have given her greater confidence. “Their expressive way of teaching has made me more expressive when I talk too. I am not fluent in sign language but have become confident about having conversations with deaf persons because of the basics and the amount of vocabulary I’ve learnt in this course”.
Pamela Bhandari, former Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, who currently does voluntary work, finds the lessons intensive but enjoyable. “The adept trainers have made a good connect with each participant, ensuring wholehearted involvement. The training was a good learning and rewarding experience.”
Shaloo Sharma, Founder-Director, Evoluer Solutions, recommends the classes for those who want to learn a new language and embrace diversity. “The classes are delivered in a manner that makes them both interesting and easy to follow. The material is well researched, and resources are spot on. The resource persons know their subject”.
If you are interested, here are the details for enrolment.
Basic workplace communication in Sign Language. Enrol here.For more details, contact Rashi at +91-96437-18789. You can also email at email@example.com
SignBee for kids Enrol here.Call Shanthi at +91-73973-77877. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch in Sign Language
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