Sarah Sunny made history in early October when she became India's first deaf lawyer to argue in the country's Supreme Court, assisted by an interpreter the court appointed for her -- the first in its history. A resident of Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), Sunny has practiced law for two years. In the city's lower courts, she submitted arguments in writing, as the judges thought interpreters would not understand legal terminology. In September, the high court said it would start appointing its own interpreters after another deaf lawyer asked for two sign language experts -- one for lawyers and one for the judges. Saurav Roychowdhury, who interpreted for Sunny, said the court's decision could mean that "the deaf will realize that they also have an equal right under the law." There are 18 million deaf or hard of hearing people in India.

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