Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE: Creating awareness about early detection of hearing problems is the need of the hour, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, said here on Saturday.

Inaugurating innovative software for people with hearing impairment at the fifth anniversary celebrations of Deaf Leaders, an organisation working for the empowerment of people with hearing disability, she said parents should be able to detect hearing problems in children within a year of their birth. If the problem was detected early, through specialised treatment and care, the problem could be rectified to a great extent, she asserted.

The Government was also taking a lot of efforts in setting up early intervention centres in each district for the benefit of mothers and children with hearing impairment.

Though the number of children being born with hearing disability had gone down, there was a need to make the public aware of the problem.

Consanguineous marriages could lead to such problems.

The new software launched would convert text to sign language. It was designed to help those with hearing impairment learn sign language and guide them in public places such as railway stations and post offices.

It also helps them understand movie subtitles and news. K.Murali, Director of Deaf Leaders, said the need to create awareness about sign language was felt most at the school level as a majority of students were poor in reading, writing and basic communication skills.