New Delhi [India], June 10: The Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar wrote to all central ministries and departments to include a sign language interpreter in all the press briefings as well as media interactions.
A letter by the Secretary of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) Anjali Bhawra stated that this (sign language interpreter) needs to be followed by all ministries soon.
"The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 mandates the appropriate Government to create a barrier-free environment for the persons with disabilities in physical infrastructure, transport, information and communication technology and other facilities and services,” reads copy of letter by Anjali Bhawra.
“It is, therefore, incumbent upon the Government to ensure that all public information related to each sector is accessible to all categories of the persons with disabilities including persons with hearing impairment," the letter further stated.
"Since sign language is one of the preferred modes of communication for persons with hearing impairment, it will be in the proper fitness of things for making provisions of sign language interpretation in every meeting, seminar, workshop including briefing being organized by the Ministries, Departments, their organizations," the letter further read.
Through the letter, Bhawra also informed that the Government has set up Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) for the purpose of promoting the use of sign language in the country. The Ministries, Departments may take technical support from this Institute for the provisioning of Sign language interpretation at their meetings, seminars, workshops, press briefings.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Centre and States on May 3, on a plea seeking direction to the governments to include sign language interpreters in all the official press briefings conducted by the government.