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M2 is what we call the Mathru Center for the Differently-abled. This is not because we believe it is our second priority tailing behind the Mathru center for the blind but simply because it was the second center that the Mathru Trust created for students. This newer center (starting in 2011) is what I would call true beauty. The school was started when the founder of the Mathru Trust for the Blind (Ms. Muktha) had a huge demand from the parents of the blind students to make a school for students with other sensory impairments, and because Ms. Muktha had the land and enough resources, she set out to make this new school a reality.

The Mathru Center for the Differently-abled is a school that caters to students who are deaf and/or have multi-sensory disorders. Right now they have 4 teachers and just over 30 students who range from preschool to second grade. I am grateful that this school exists because it really helps the students that attend, but on top of all that, I love working with them.

I have loved every day that I get the opportunity to work at M2. The students there are so uplifting, and I even get the chance to practice my sign language.

But contrary to common belief, not all sign language is the same. Each language has its own and within each version there are variations. Talking to the students and teachers in sign language is like Spanish and French speakers trying to have a conversation. We can understand parts and pieces but its clear we are speaking different languages. At Mathru they speak in ISL (Indian Sign Language) but a variation of such. Now try to imagine all the different languages that are spoken in India, and then imagine each of them having their own sign language. At Mathru they have made their own mix of signs to create a language that works best for them.

On each trip to M2 I learn so many new signs for the same words I know in ASL (American Sign Language). It is so fascinating comparing how the signs differ based on language, location, and culture. I am so happy I have 3 more weeks to see what other signs I can learn.

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