Society

Madras Photo Bloggers presents a photography course for the hearing impaired

Behind the lens Srivatsan Sankaran and (below) Ayyalu Kumaran special arrangement   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“A silent way to learn”: this is how travel photographer and founder of Madras Photo Bloggers (MPB), Srivatsan Sankaran describes their photography course for the hearing impaired.

Srivatsan, who has conducted several workshops for the hearing community, feels that those who are hearing impaired, rely largely on “practical understandings”. Most photography resources, he points out, are in English, which can be a problem.

“If communication is challenging, they do not feel encouraged to read,” he adds. Which is why he, along with documentary photographer Ayyalu R Kumaran, who is also from MPB, came up with a course in sign language with Ravi Shankar Y, an interpreter.

The facilitators will communicate through sign language, using body language, facial expression and practical ways of teaching. “Kumaran and I believe in listening,” says Srivatsan. “We will first listen to the participants to understand their level of knowledge before we start teaching.” He explains that they plan to keep batches small, consisting of eight to 10 people.

Ayyalu R Kumaran

Ayyalu R Kumaran   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The three-month-long course will not only teach photography, but will also try to imbibe confidence in the participants. “Attitude towards challenges need to be changed and so, we will slowly introduce optimistic thinking,” he says, adding that they hope to train the participants to tackle obstacles.

Speaking of challenges, Srivatsan too has faced a lot of them. Hearing impaired himself, he says that initially as a photographer, he felt frustrated and angry at times, “which never lead to any solution”.

“Challenges emerge in various forms: communication, confidence, understandings and listening, because all these play a crucial role in processing information,” he says. The 30-year-old realised this after his experiences in teaching photography, solo travel photography expeditions, interacting with clients, organising events, leading his team and communicating over phone.

“Over years of training my mind, I’m able to withstand any sort of challenge that I come across in both professional and personal life,” he says. In the end, this is what he and Kumaran hope to teach.

The three-month course is online and starts on October 2. It is on from 10 am to 4 pm every weekend. Course fee is ₹5,000. A camera will be provided if participants do not own one.

To register, message 8056267058, email madrasphotobloggers@gmail.com.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 1:12:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/madras-photo-bloggers-presents-a-photography-course-for-the-hearing-impaired/article32742109.ece

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