International Day of Sign Languages 2021: Check History, Theme, Significance and details of Indian Sign Language

International Sign Language Day: The theme of the International Day of Sign Languages 2021 is ‘We Sign for Human Rights’.  It highlights how everyone- deaf as well as hearing people all around the world- can come together to work on recognizing the right of using sign languages in all spheres of life.

Created On: Sep 23, 2021 10:30 IST
International Sign Language Day
International Sign Language Day

International Sign Language Day: The International Day of Sign Languages is observed every year on September 23. The day brings attention to the linguistic identity of the people who are deaf as well as the other users of sign languages. There is also an international sign language that is used by deaf people in international meetings and while travelling and socializing.

As per the World Federation of the Deaf, there are more than 70 million deaf people all over the world and around 80% of them live in developing countries. Sign Languages used all over the world are full-fledged natural languages that are structurally distinct from spoken languages. The International Day of Sign Languages 2021 will bring awareness to various sign languages around the world. There are over 300 sign languages, each with unique symbols.

Check details of the International Sign Languages Day 2021 and also know about the Indian Sign Language.

International Day of Sign Languages 2021 Theme

The theme of the International Day of Sign Languages 2021 is ‘We Sign for Human Rights’.

The theme of the International Sign Languages Day has been declared by the World Federation of the Deaf. It highlights how everyone- deaf as well as hearing people all around the world- can come together to work on recognizing the right of using sign languages in all spheres of life.

International Day of Sign Languages 2021 History

According to the United Nations, the International Sign Language Day was first observed in 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf.

As per the UN, the choice of September 23 as the International Day of Sign Languages commemorates the date that World Deaf Day was established in 1951.

The world celebrated the first International Week of Deaf in September 1958. The day has since evolved into a global movement of deaf unity and advocacy to create awareness regarding the issues faced by deaf people all around the world.

International Sign Language Day 2021: Why is it significant?

The world celebrates the International Day of Sign Languages to bring awareness to the relevance of sign languages and to make people aware of the role that it plays in the life of deaf people.

The Sign Language Day is a reminder that even though people with hearing disabilities have a different mode of communication, our efforts and willingness to understand and learn can minimize the discrimination that they face in their day to day lives.

Indian Sign Language: What is the history?

The Indian Sign Language (ISL) has been taught since 2001 and is over a century old. ISL is taught in nearly 700 Indian schools, the language has its unique grammar and gestures, however, it also has some regional differences.

The first formal training course of the Indian Sign Language (ISL) was created by Sibaji Panda, a deaf teacher, in 2001.

The Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre was a step towards making people aware of Indian Sign Language. The Centre was set up by the Indian Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2011. However, the centre was later shut down and was re-established in 2015 as Society under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

Significance of Indian Sign Language

There is a need to create awareness regarding the Indian Sign Language as it still lacks the required recognition, even among the members of the deaf community in India.

Learning the Indian Sign Language will help in filling the gap and will also help to create sensitivity towards a deaf community in India. Currently, there are less than 300 Indian Sign Language interpreters and many are urgently needed.

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