Workshop for Disabled Persons’ Organisations on Account of World Deaf Week in Jharkhand

A workshop was conducted for DPOs on September 30, 2011 at  Hazaribagh with the following objectives:

At the end of the workshop the participants will:

  • List the features of ‘normal’ hearing
  • Identify the parts of the ear on a visual display
  • Describe the basic functions of each part
  • Recount the process of hearing in a simple way
  • Describe what hearing impairment is
  • Enumerate the levels (degrees) of hearing loss and the sounds that can be hear at each level
  • List the causes of hearing impairment and the preventive measures
  • List the observable features that help to identify children and adults with hearing impairment
  • Explain clearly the difficulties caused to an individual by hearing  impairment – i.e. communication (speech) and language, family bonding and socialisation, emotional stability literacy, academic competence, employment and post marital family life
  • Explain why a child or and adult with hearing impairment would require early use of hearing aids or exposure to ISL to overcome the difficulties

The Workshop

The workshop was based on a power point presentation followed by and interactive discussion. The whispering game was used to demonstrate how inadequate hearing hinders a person from understanding what is being said.

In another activity, the features required for good communication were demonstrated practically in 2 steps by the participants.

Step 1.One participant was taken outside and given a situation which he had to describe to his fellow participants through a mime (without using speech or any other formal communication option like ISL or writing).

The communication was not clear and both the person who was trying to pass on the message and those receiving it were frustrated.

Step 2.  Was then implemented. The communicator spoke out the message, a short conversation followed and everybody was satisfied.

A discussion followed the activity through which the four prerequisites  for effective communication emerged clearly.

In order to be effective and clear, communication requires:

(i)                 At least 2 people

(ii)               A common topic

(iii)              A common of mode of communication

(iv)            A language that is understood by both

 

A feedback was taken from the participants during the discussions on each topic. This was done informally and unobtrusively. The participants’ response was spontaneous and insightful. They understood every point under discussion and added to it or disagreed as required. The interaction was both “lively” and relevant.

 

Thoughts and Impressions

Most of the participants had orthopaedic disabilities. 2 had low vision.

There were no persons with hearing impairment. In fact, according to the participants there are only two hearing impaired persons who are DPO members.

We had to change the timing of the session from the morning to the afternoon due to a heavy traffic jam on the highway. It was expected that a sleepy group would attend hot post–lunch session. The participants were interested, enthusiastic and very questioning (which kept the trainer from settling into her routine post lunch siesta!

The duration of the session was 21/2 hours. There was a worry that we would not be able meet all the objectives.  All the topics were covered but, a follow up should be carried out reinforce the new learning.

Unfortunately, only one parent was able to attend. The others had come in the morning but were unable to attend due to the change in timing. This parent, the father of two deaf sons expressed the need for financial assistance to enable him continue with the education of his sons. The members of the DPO in his block came forward with offers of help in the matter.

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