President Mohamed Nasheed has today launched the first Maldivian Sign Language Dictionary at a function held this afternoon at Jamaaluddin School.

Speaking at the function, the President noted that language or communication was an important tool for human development as well as for the development of a nation.

He also noted that though the Constitution grants freedom of speech for all citizens, without the means for communication, this freedom could not be realized. He added that there were many people among us who live without this means for communication.

Speaking on the importance of the sign language dictionary, the President said that one of the most important uses of this dictionary was that deaf children would be able to communicate in school as well as with their families.

He also stressed that it was important for other students to learn this language.

In his speech, President Nasheed thanked Mr Amaresh Gopalakrishnan, project leader and other members involved in compiling the dictionary. He also thanked Jamaaluddin School for their support.

The dictionary contains signs for around 650 words supported with English and Dhivehi description explaining the hand-shape and the movement to be used while signing a particular word.