The first digital sign language dictionary (www.jestdili.az) for hearing and speech impaired community was launched in Azerbaijan. The website was developed with the financial support of Nar within the framework of the ‘Native Sign Language’ project, a winner of the ‘Social Projects’ competition announced by the ‘Regional Development’ Public Union (RDPU) under the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
The digital dictionary contains the translation of about 3000 words into sign language, as well as the illustrative images and videos of more than 2100 words.
The ‘Native Sign Language’ e-dictionary will be an invaluable resource for people with hearing and speech disabilities and their relatives, as well as sign language interpreters, surdologists, teachers and speech therapists working with this group of people. The most obvious benefit of the website is that it is more accessible and allows easy search of words. Meanwhile, the mobile version of the site has been developed as well.
According to Kamran Abasov, the Chairman of the ‘Support to the Deaf’ Public Union, this digital dictionary was built considering those who wish to learn the sign language: “A digital version of the sign language dictionary has never been developed in Azerbaijan. This website will enable the relatives of people with hearing and speech impairments to learn sign language, provide free learning opportunities for future translators and those working with children with hearing and speech disabilities. On behalf of hearing impaired community, we thank Nar and ‘Regional Development’ Public Union for their support.”
Aziz Akhundov, head of public relations department at Nar, pointed out that for almost 10 years, the mobile operator has implemented various projects to support the integration of people with hearing and speech disabilities into society: “We believe that the development of the first digital sign language dictionary will increase the labor capability and facilitate communication with the people with hearing and speech disabilities. As a mobile operator, we undertake to not only provide superior customer service to our subscribers, but also implement vital social projects for our society.”
According to Zaira Gasimova, a representative of the RDPU, the Public Union plays an important role in enlightening the population and increasing employment. “It consistently implements the projects towards the resolution of problems of socially vulnerable groups (living in difficult living conditions and in need of social protection) and integration of those with disabilities into society, and supports new ideas and initiatives in this direction. Within the framework of the named project, a working group consisting of the specialists from the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, the Ministry of Education, associate professors and teachers of Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University, ANAS, and the employees of ‘Support to the Deaf’ PU was established to develop an online dictionary.”
Nar had earlier organized ‘Training School’ in the capital and regions for people with hearing and speech disabilities to acquire various professions, and also published a book ‘Bridge to a Silent World’, explaining the gestures in sign language.
‘Azerfon’ LLC (Nar trademark) started its operations on March 21, 2007, and within a short period of time became one of the leading companies of the telecommunications and mobile communication industry of Azerbaijan. The ‘Nar’ brand name was selected as the symbol that resembles the cohesion of the rich cultural and historical heritage of Azerbaijan with the modern life. Being the first operator in the country to introduce the 3G technology, Nar provides the customers with a wide 4G network coverage. With a large network of over 8780 base stations, covering 91% of the country’s territory, Nar provides more than 2.3 million subscribers with the highest quality services.
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