Orientation prog on rehabilitation of PwDs held

NAMSAI, 16 Mar: Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing Disabilities (AYJNISHD) in collaboration with the special education department of the Arunachal University of Studies (AUS) organized an orientation programme here on 16 March to educate the students and delegates in the run-up to the upcoming cochlear implantation programme to assist and facilitate differently-abled persons.

World Education Mission (WEM) president Dr Ashwani Lochan said the central government has taken many initiatives to empower persons with disabilities (PwD). “Helping the differently-abled is not just a duty but a responsibility to help them live normal lives,” he said.

As an initial step, he announced that the WEM would provide 100 percent scholarship to divyangjan students of the AUS for pursuing higher education. He also initiated a fully-sponsored sign language camp for the hearing impaired and their immediate family members. Dr Lochan stressed on the need to educate normal people to encourage and support the differently-abled persons.

The AYJNISHD is one of the apex national institutes of the social justice & empowerment ministry, with two regional centres (RC) in Secunderabad and Kolkata.

RC Kolkata Assistant Director BN Rao highlighted the status of hearing and speech disability in the northeastern states, and informed that Arunachal “is one the highest in percentile at 36.14 percent.” Rao said “we have much aspiration for the upcoming cochlear implantation drive” to be held on 17 March at the AUS.

He stressed on educational rehabilitation of children with hearing impairment as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, “which works on education, building campus, proper language, appropriate modes of communication and various other facilities.”

RC Kolkata’s NE nodal officer Dr Prosenjit Majumdar enumerated the number of differently-abled persons in Arunachal. He informed that the population of PwDs in the state is 26,734, with 53 percent males and 47 percent females. A total of 1,994 (7.46 percent) of the PwDs have disability certificates, he said.

RC Kolkata lecturer Palash Dutta explained the challenges of early identification, prevention, and fitment of aids and appliances to the person with speech and hearing impairment.

Robert Singh from the AUS’ special education department spoke on the role of the society in dealing with PwDs. He advised the gathering on how to behave with differently-abled persons “by not shouting, facing the deaf person, waving or tapping the shoulder to get their attention, making eye contact, and speaking clearly at a natural pace.”