KARACHI, March 7: Speakers at a function on Saturday said that, with the production of a new CD, people could learn the sign language which is used by the deaf.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the CD, produced jointly by the Pakistan Association for the Deaf and the IUCN (World Conservation Union) - they said with its introduction the parents, friends and relatives of the hearing-impaired people could communicate easily with them.
They said that nearly two years of research had led to the standardization of the sign language, which was termed the mother tongue or the first language of the deaf people. They said the contents of the CD comprised more than 500 words, phrases and environmental terms which had been standardized.
They said that the circulation, reproduction or improvement in the CD was not restricted by its copyright. They added that in a couple of weeks' time the entire contents of the CD would be available in a free version that could be downloaded from the website with the address www.special.net.pk.
They said the CD would also be available from the PAD, Karachi, or at the National Institute of Special Education (NISE), Islamabad. The government was operating nearly 18 special education institutes and now the efforts were being made to further improve their standards, they said.
The handicapped people in general, and the deaf in particular, had proved time and again that given an opportunity they could perform as well as the normal people.
They also pointed out that though the two per cent quota had been reserved in the employment for the handicapped people, this was rarely implemented, creating problems for the disabled. They demanded that the quota be implemented strictly and transparently.
A skit performed by the deaf students was also presented. The PAD members also presented the national anthem in the sign language. The Sindh Education Secretary, Ghulam Ali Shah Pasha, PAD's chief Laila Dossa, Syed Mohammad Amin, Sabahat saeed, Hassan Aziz, and others also spoke.
The Sindh Education Minister, Irfanullah Marwat who was to be the chief guest, and Sindh Education Foundation chief, Prof Anita Ghulam Ali, who was to be the guest of honour, did not turn up at the ceremony.