D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Indira Gandhi National Open University (I.G.N.O.U.) has launched a four-year Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) course in Applied Sign Language to foster an effective communicative environment for hearing and speech impaired persons.
I.G.N.O.U. has adopted a holistic approach towards the course taking into account that sign language varies from region to region. Just 25 percent is common to all cultures. Because speech impairment often exists with hearing impairment, the curriculum has been developed to accommodate both aspects of sign language so as to make it useful for students.
The undergraduate course has been designed and developed by the University of Central Lancashire (U.C.L.A.N.), following an agreement signed by the Prime Ministers of United Kingdom and India, under the U.K.-India Educational Research Initiative (U.K.I.E.R.I.) scheme.
Dr. Shibaji Panda, lecturer at University of Central Lancashire (U.C.L.A.N.) who has been deputed to I.G.N.O.U. to start the Applied Sign Language course said, “The programme is truly international, befitting the philosophy of an Open University.”
In 2013, the first batch of 30 Sign Language students will graduate from I.G.N.O.U.