‘A child who is born deaf must be imparted training at the age of two or three'

Early identification of deafness in a child and proper education can save his future, said principal of Madonna Special Institute for the Deaf Celine Mary, on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference, organised by the Higher Education for Persons with Special Needs (HEPSN) department in Andhra Loyola College, to spread awareness among parents of specially challenged kids, Sr. Mary said parents of such children must focus on rehabilitation measures. She said that at times, parents believe in superstitions and crucial period in the life of the child is lost.

A child who is born deaf must be imparted proper training at the age of two or three so that he can develop speaking skills. Once this crucial period is lost, teaching them to speak becomes a difficult task. “Early intervention will pave the way for their rehabilitation,” she reiterated.

Explaining about the finer details of the issue, she said since the deaf persons can't listen to the sound form of inputs from birth, their cognitive ability to speak is severely affected. “This is because speech development is nothing but an imitation process of audible clues. Hence, they normally become speechless. At present, there are systems like auditory training through which the hearing impaired persons can be made to speak. It has been noticed that the hearing impaired persons have remarkably good artistic skills.

Education

Principal of Madonna Degree College for the Deaf at Gunadala Anitha informed that besides early intervention, the college offered formal education up to SSC level, college level education in CEC group in intermediate and B.Com courses.

A course in M.Com, in a tie-up with Krishna University, was also available, she added.

This was in addition to the vocational stream such as type writing, computer skills, tailoring and communication skills (English language).

Parented of affected children can contact her for professional advice on 0866-2450416, 9492370203.

Employment

Principal of Vijaya Mary Integrated School, said proper education facility could help visually challenged persons find employment. She said the institute admitted blind students and imparted education to them up to SSC level. Along with school education, they are taught Braille system of learning. “Most students educated here go for higher studies in regular colleges, find employment and lead a normal life,” she said.

Andhra Loyola College Principal Francis Xavier said the college not only admitted visually challenged students in intermediate and degree courses, but it also provided free computer training and scribe assistance to them. He said the college also helps orthopedically challenged students with suitable facilities for their easy access.

The HEPSN Coordinator G. Sahaya Baskaran said though blindness was a severe problem, modern technology-aided systems such as laptops with software like JAWS, Kurzveil, helped them communicate with the world in a normal way. He said some of the visually challenged persons were working as lecturers, managers and in other responsible posts. Mr. Baskaran can be contacted on 9490658088.

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