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Sign language must be made compulsory for school teachers -- Ms. Ira Singhal, IAS and Dy. Commissioner, North MCD on International Day of Persons with Disabilities at IGNOU

10 December, 2019
On the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3rd December, 2019) IGNOU’s National Centre for Disabilities Studies (NCDS) organized various programmes from 1st December to 6th December, 2019 starting with a thematic painting competition for children of different age groups on the topic “Education for persons with disabilities”. A lecture on “Mental health for adolescents” by Ms. Jasjit Kaur, Counselling Psychologist from Enrich, Tulsi Health Care, Delhi was also organized by NCDS, IGNOU on the same day.  A slogan competition was also held for IGNOU staff working at its headquarters and Regional Centres located across the country on the theme “Empowerment of persons with disabilities”.
On 3rd December 2019 a live teleconferencing programme was telecast on the topic “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” highlighting the history of disability movement in the world and in India and the aim of observing this important day. Resource persons for this programme were Dr. Hemlata and Dr. S.K. Mishra, Director and Dy. Director of NCDS, IGNOU, respectively. A Street Play (Nukkad Natak) was performed by the students of School of Performing and Visual Arts, IGNOU on the topic “Rights of persons with disabilities and societal attitude towards them” at the IGNOU campus on 4th December 2019. A large gathering watched the play with keen interest.
On 6th December 2019 a lecture on ‘Inclusive society and persons with disabilities” was organized culminating the week long activities.  The lecture was delivered by the Chief Guest, Ms. Ira Singhal, IAS and Dy. Commissioner, North MCD. In her lecture, she emphasized that one should look at the abilities and not disabilities so that the potential of the human beings could be exploited to the maximum extent. Ms. Singhal also suggested that sign language must be made compulsory for all teacher training programmes. She also suggested that examining bodies should consider audio recording the answers of examinees with disabilities who require the services of scribes. Professor R.R. Kanhere, Pro Vice-chancellor, IGNOU in his presidential remarks highlighted certain issues like lack of job opportunities for persons with disabilities, implementation of uniform examination guidelines, and shortage of teacher training programmes in Special education through distance mode for meeting the rising demand.  Dr. Hemlata, Director, NCDS, IGNOU in her welcome address elaborated the mandate of her Centre and the activities undertaken by it. Earlier setting the tone, Dr. S.K. Mishra, Deputy Director, NCDS in his opening remarks outlined various proclamations of the United Nations on disabilities and observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.   
Prizes were also distributed to the winners of the painting and slogan competitions after the lectures. Vote of thanks was proposed by Shri Mohanveer Gautam, Assistant Registrar, NCDS, IGNOU.