In an effort to spread an awareness of hearing impairment, its causes and the methods to combat, a campaign was conducted by YMCA's Kamak High School and Home for the Deaf, Visalakshipuram here.

The two-day campaign concentrated on creating an awareness among the general public of hearing impairment and the organisers chose one of the most common places of transit, bus stands where common people gather in huge numbers. The chosen areas were Mattuthavani bus stand and Arappalayam bus stand on Tuesday and Periyar bus stand and Goripalayam bus stop on Wednesday. This was an attempt to sensitize the public in rural areas who are unaware of special schools for hearing impaired and how important is early intervention in rehabilitation, said one of the special educators.

Special educators

The special educators who were part of the campaign were involved in the distribution of pamphlets, notices, brochures carrying information on the hearing impairment, causes, prevention and the rehabilitative measures needed to combat hearing impairment. Short skits and dialogical mode of communication highlighting the causes and preventive mechanisms also formed part of the campaign. Consanguineous marriages, maternal health of mother, injuries during delivery, postnatal illness and use of high dose drugs were some of the causes mentioned by the special educators.

Preventive measures like using ear protectors while working in noisy areas, maintaining better ear hygiene avoiding exposure to high decibels were suggested.

Sharmila Doris, Secretary Kamak High School and Home for the Deaf, said that if we were able combat hearing impairment during the early stage along with proper education and training the children could lead a very normal life, she said.

Citing many cases she said, “The school gives 3 years training and then we integrate them to normal school.”

Significance of preschool and special school education prior to getting education at normal school was also highlighted in the campaign. The school also provides counselling to the parents of the deaf children and every year the school sends 13 to 15 students to normal schools after providing training. The volunteers claimed that during the last two days they were able to reach 2,000 people during the campaign.

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