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Empowering hearing impaired persons with leadership skills

Participants at a four-day camp organised by the Association of People with Disability, which began in Bangalore on Tuesday.— Photo: Anishaa Ahuja

Participants at a four-day camp organised by the Association of People with Disability, which began in Bangalore on Tuesday.— Photo: Anishaa Ahuja  

A four-day event with a focus on empowering and building leadership skills in persons with hearing impairments got under way here on Tuesday.

Inchara 2013, organised by the Association of People with Disability (APD), also emphasises on the need for social inclusion of persons with hearing impairments.

About 500 people from across the State are taking part in the event which has the theme ‘Leadership and health’. It will also deal with topics such as leadership qualities, sexual health, sharing life experiences, stress management, and importance of communication. The issue of children with hearing impairments discontinuing higher education will also be discussed.

One of the participants at the camp, Smitha P. from Davangere, who has completed SSLC, said: “We are often told that once we finish our schooling it is quite impossible to pursue further studies. This leaves us with jobs in factories as the only option. However, we dream of working in sectors such as medicine, information technology and sports.” She said she was learning about various opportunities that were available to her, at the event.

Gayatri Ravish, president of Mardhani, a federation for parents of children with hearing impairments, said: “There is no proper guidance or awareness among parents. Most of them feel ashamed of their child’s disability and refuse to accept it. Parents are unable to understand their children as there is a huge communication gap.” Parents need to be taught sign language so they could address the needs of their children, she added.

According to K.N. Gopinath, director of programmes, APD, the camp will help participants to improve their sign language and interpretation skills as they will learn at least 100 words. “We’ve released a Kannada manual of 500 words, which will help parents and children learn new words through sign language and will bridge the communication gap that exists between them.”

The camp is being held at Christ Kannada Primary School, Suddaguntepalya. For details, call 9538871548 or 9538871544.

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