The International Day of Sign Languages was first celebrated in 2018. It promotes and celebrates the use of sign language. According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are 72 million deaf people in the world who collectively use 300 different sign languages. Every country has its own sign language and lexicon. Some places have more than one native sign language. In the Indian deaf community, the Indian Sign Language or ISL is used. The 2011 census reports 50 lakh deaf persons in India. There is a shocking lack of certified interpreters in India. There are less than 300. When it comes to schooling for the deaf there are 478 schools with government funding and 372 private schools. Most of them are in the cities.
Dr. Jayant Gandhi is an eminent ENT surgeon and consultant at a self-established clinic in Mumbai Gandhi Nursing Home, who has experience of nearly 38 years. He has a keen interest in treatments like nasal endoscopy, vertigo, rhinoplasty, septoplasty, sinus surgery, sleep-related issues, middle ear reconstruction surgery, etc. He received Gold Medal in MS - ENT in 1982 and Vijay Ratna Award in 1987. He has worked with several reputed hospitals such as Gandhi Nursing Home, CMP Homeopathy Hospital, JJ Group of Hospitals, and Jain Yuvak Center. He is a part of the Association of Medical Consultants and the Indian Medical Association. He has provided 500 hearing aids to the children in need of it.
Challenges for opening hearing impairment school for children
Dr. Jayant Gandhi says, “School is a place to worship. Every child and parent is blessed for education for holistic development for communication and education. Hearing-impaired children do not think about the future to do medical and engineering.
Hearing-impaired children find it difficult to move forward Hearing-impaired children study only till the 10th In India, there is no promotion and facilities for Hearing-impaired children in schools and universities There should be a college for Hearing-impaired Children in India There should be a special class in government schools for Hearing impaired children. This will enable us to declare that Hearing-impaired children are no longer handicapped. The capability of Hearing impaired children is equivalent to everyone. 95% of schools do not use speech-language. Communication for Hearing impaired children should be beneficial within the language Speech is also important but should be communicated with special language for Hearing impaired children ISL is not approved by the government as a National Language. Our empowerment department has already suggested the higher authorities approve and make ISL an official language for hearing impaired children The government is providing empowerment for the same. Hearing-impaired children need a digital hearing aid and recurrent expenses Special training teachers are required for Hearing impaired children.”
Aim of government for Hearing impaired children
Dr. Jayant Gandhi says, “ The scope of education should be given to Hearing-impaired children. We have come up with “JOSH FOUNDATION” for such Hearing-impaired children. We should support Hearing-impaired children. We opened the first school in India which has caused good progress for Hearing impaired children like-
Sanction of funds for cochlear implant surgery We have provided free hearing aids for Hearing-impaired children from various donors Hearing-impaired children have become professionals with complete communication with speech-language and auditory-verbal therapy.”
Hearing-impaired children and handicap
Dr. Jayant Gandhi says, “ Parents should be explained that Hearing-impaired children are not a handicap. So, we should promote that hearing impairment is no longer a handicap disability.”
Teaching staff and curriculum for Hearing impaired children
Dr. Jayant Gandhi informs, “The curriculum for Hearing impaired children is -
Using various methodologies Sign language Verbal therapy Qualified teacher Types of equipment for hearing impaired children Active sports for Hearing impaired children Counselors for Hearing impaired children deal with psychological Framing programs for Hearing impaired children Cognitive skill development Mainstream education with practicalities Language deficit Special teaching resources Individual digital hearing aid - Digital hearing aids suppress noise and enhance the speech Group hearing aid Speech hearing software for voiceless sound, nasal sounds, fundamental speech sounds Toys and computers in every school Communicate through tutor and computer Sign accessing tools Teaching staff having knowledge of sign language and verbal training Teachers and staff should be passionate Uplift the Hearing impaired children Understand the breadth and depth of subject Continuity in the program on changing schools Good communication skills
This should improve the career graph of the child."
Challenges in the education sector for Hearing impaired children
Dr. Jayant Gandhi informs, “ The challenges for the hearing impaired children in the education sector are -
Academic challenge Communication challenge Development of language and speech Understand the tutor and teacher Teasing and making jokes of Hearing impaired children Mental health problems due to humiliation Substandard education Special training for all schools Lack colleges for Hearing impaired children Vocational programs like data science and computer coding language Lack of job opportunities Personal and social impact Identity crisis Mental health problems.”
Future prospects for Hearing impaired children
Dr. Jayant Gandhi informs, “ Hearing impaired children can be normal and do the same work like other normal people because of -
Machine learning AI
Correct age to detect Hearing-impaired children
Dr. Jayant Gandhi informs, “At birth, we can detect the same with a machine. The pass sign indicates he can hear well and the failed sign indicates he needs medical attention for hearing. The government is started with this pediatric group. It has become compulsory for all hospitals and institutes for ear and eye check-ups. Do not wait for treatment. Early detection is a must. Treating in the first 2 years of age can help in being normal. The involvement of parents is important for these children, especially mothers. Colleges in rural areas must be an initiative for promoting education for children. Vocational programs are a must. Society has to accept them with an open heart and involve them as they are human and capable of everything possible. We should encourage Hearing-impaired children.”
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)