Tuesday, December 4, 2007


It is amazing that in this age of communication and technology , how 'sign language' is still so popular.Why is it that we are not not making people aware that children are talking?They can be integrated into normal life with absolutely no use of sign language and lip reading.Why are the audiologist not spending their energy and resources into bringing in "AVT"?Auditory verbal therapy has given my daughter and my family a fresh lease of life.When I hear of sign language I shudder to think of how I would have lost the chance of hearing my pretty daughter's voice and her singing. We do not feel her hearing impairment many times.Her speech is clearing and her thoughts come out in her own language without my prompting.I do correct her when she does not get her thoughts right at times though.
Y'day my teacher had gone to a child welfare association's programme for the handicap.She was so disappointed as all they did was put up programmes by the DEAF AND DUMB kids.Yes it is encouraging them and motivating them to live , but are we not restricting their life by giving them "sign language'?Do they not deserve to live a normal life? Today they are in the care of the centre and are able to manage within the protected environment of centre, home and family.But what happens tommorow when they are adults and have to lead an independent life?How many normal people will understand them?How many will pity them, isolate them as it is a botheration to understand and make yourself understand and actually will they not feel "different and handicapped"?Why are we not working towards getting them to be accepted by making the effort.If their are people who are talking and their is a technique to make them hear and talk and understand , why are the audiologist still not working on that.Why are we still cochlear implanting people when people like my teacher are making deaf children talk despite their profound loss of hearing and that too with ordinary hearing aids?Are we not still encouraging the old system when we are able to through internet find out all the information.Through blogging and "youtube" I have listened to so many children talk and sing.
People wake up.We need to integrate the deaf people into normal lives.Do not make them 'different' and isolate them by giving them a different language as how many people would have to learn their language in order to let them be independent and make them feel normal. Let us empower them by giving them the language of the masses.Once they understand the language of the masses they are no longer DEAF AND DUMB, they are not even DEAF, they are just hearing impaired as good hearing aids have given them the power to hear and AVT has given them the power to understand and speak.They are just left with a condition of 'hearing impairment', they are no longer HANDICAPPED.
I want to share an incident that one of the moms of hearing impaired told us.Her teenage daughter was told to take part in a drawing competition in the handicapped category.Promptly the gutsy girl replied 'I am not a handicapped person, I can hear and understand and speak everything so why are you putting me in that category?'Hats off and what an inspiring tale.Irony is why should a hearing impaired child be in the first place be put in a handicapped category for a drawing competition.Their hands and feet are all ok and they can draw using their fingers. I am glad that that girl does not think she is a handicapped person.
The down side of this is that such children go to normal schools and so are not aware and are not able to avail a lot of aid given to deaf and dumb children.The institutions for such children put up shows like this and all the government aids go to such institutions and not always does it go to the deserving people.I wish their was more empathy and tranceparency in India.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you are right in saying that the hearing impaired child should not be called "deaf and dumb" because it is not the child but the people around the child who are deaf and dumb - deaf in the sense that they close their ears to any information regarding the child leading a normal life and dumb because they do not understand the possibility of how a deaf child is only deaf till he or she wears a hearing aid.