Deaf-inclusive scientific conference held to mark ‘Proteomics Day’

Deaf-inclusive scientific conference held to mark ‘Proteomics Day’
Deaf-friendly scientific conference

New Delhi, March 25: The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH) has added another feather to its cap, by holding a crucial scientific conference in a deaf-inclusive manner.

The programme, organised to celebrate Proteomics Day- the foundation day of Proteomics Society of India (PSI), was made deaf accessible under ISLEVL (Indian Sign Language Enabled Virtual Lab) initiative of Jigyasa Mission- a scientific social responsibility program of CSIR. 

Along with staff and students of CSIR-IMTECH, members of PSI, scientists, and students from sister CSIR labs, and dignitaries and guests from other institutions, around 50 deaf students and trainee teachers affiliated with the Haryana Welfare Society for Hearing and Speech Impairment participated in the programme.

To ensure inclusivity of this unique mix of hearing and deaf audiences, the dialogues and deliberations of the event were live interpreted into the Indian sign language by two project employees of CSIR-IMTECH – SauravRoychowdhury and StutiKumari. Dr.Alka Rao, Principal Scientist, and the event coordinator welcomed the gathering. Dr.Anshu Bhardwaj, Principal Scientist, moderated the sessions.

Mr. Jayant Sahasrabudhe, the National Organising Secretary of Vijnana Bharti, and Dr. Sanjeev Khosla, Director CSIR-IMTECH, inaugurated the event. ShSahasrabudhe applauded this pioneering initiative of CSIR-IMTECH as a practical example of implementing inclusive education for all – a dream of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Dr. Shubhra Chakraborty, Director, National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) and President – PSI, introduced the scope and achievements of the PSI. Founder member of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters, Mr. Arun C Rao, called upon other scientific institutions in India to follow the example of CSIR IMECH.

Dr. Girish Sahni, former Director-General of CSIR & Secretary DSIR, was the distinguished guest for the event. He urged CSIR scientists to explore and develop Artificial Intelligence and IT-based tools for sign image-to-text conversion applications and vice-versa to facilitate communication between deaf and hearing people. (India Science Wire)

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