The Problem which no one Overlooks
On March 23rd they declared it as a national Lock-down in India, many people freaked out some of them even left the city which had fed them their entire life, some of them pulled their wrists and helped society.
The academic institutions started to teach in online platforms, Now here lies the problem: how can you expect every student to have a stable internet connection and an electronic device to attend moreover the institutions made online classes mandatory to attend them. (This is a talk for another time)
Now I want to talk about the problems faced by Deaf people
How can a deaf student listen to the online classes where they themselves can’t understand the lectures in offline classes?
Deaf students face many problems in listening in the class because they should pay attention to the lip of the professor to read lip
After all you might think several students wear glasses and need no further assistance same happens with deaf students, But hearing loss is more complicated than that.
I want to clear up some common misconceptions about the Hearing-Aid
This is really a common mis-understanding that hearing aids are just like Glassses, that they enable the person to attain 100% clear vision.
NO a Big No!!!
Hearing aids just amplify the the sound received, doesn’t improve the clarity of the sound.
A person might still struggle to understand others even when wearing the Hearing aids, They struggle more now with the masks on (Covid-19) because the person sees the lip movement and try to hear at the same time.
I will explain why a Deaf Person trys to read the Lip:
Imagine that You are Deaf now, You don’t know how a couple words are pronounced, ex: mississippi (classic permutation problem xD)
I will try to speak mississippi to you with the mask on , The Persons hearing aid catch it as misipi, this seems like a new word to you, You Fail to understand what is this word, But when you try to read the lip and listen to the word you might understand it clearly.
We can understand some of the common words like, appa, uta, college, computer, why ?
Because these are the words which we speak Daily, Basically mind is just like Machine Learning, It constantly learns itself by how this word is pronounced, etc…
Listening is a tough task. Hearing loss makes it extremely difficult to hear some speech sounds. Speech sounds are lost in greater numbers as hearing loss is more. Your brain has to constantly understand what someone is saying when you can’t hear particular words/sounds. To interpret what originally sounds like gibberish into recognizable speech, your brain must mentally fill in the blanks, adding missing speech sounds and guessing at unheard words. This requires a high level of focus on the part of the listener. This level of focus exhausts mental resources quickly, leaving the listener exhausted. When all of their mental energy is focused toward grasping what is being said, there are few resources left to truly retain what is being said. As a result, the person may/may not understand what he or she had been telling.
Also we cannot neglet background noises; Hell , A normal person can’t even hear properly in noisy background.Background noise can amplify the struggle to hear.
Lipreading requires a significant amount of mental effort and concentration. People who are deaf or hard of hearing do not instinctively know how to lipread, which is actually a popular belief. It’s an acquired skill that takes years to perfect. Lipreading may be more challenging for people who lost their hearing later in life compared to those who have been deaf or hard of hearing since childhood. Because of the speaker, lipreading can be difficult or impossible. Lips can be difficult to read if you have facial hair. When a speaker makes exaggerated lip movements or doesn’t move their mouth much when speaking, it can be difficult to read their lips. Many sounds are also made in the back of the throat and are not visible on the lips. Lipreading is only possible for 30–45 percent of voice sounds. via (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lip-reading-is-no-simple-task_b_9526300)
Combine all of the above problems with writing notes, it seems like it is a impossible job.
In India the Sign Language is considered as a Taboo, what the people don’t understand is it is a way of expressing the feelings by a person, The people talk like it is a disgrace to the humanity, which hurts the Feelings.
When I planned to write this, I decided do some research, I was shocked to learn that only around two percent of deaf children in India attend school, further perpetuating a culture of illiteracy and low economic opportunity.
Despite a massive audience in India, closed-captioning on television has lagged. Adult lack of education has delayed efforts to extend these services to the wider population, in addition to the lack of investment in technology.
I tried to give a small insight to the Problems faced by the Deaf Person, there are so many other un-parallel problems which cannot by penned down. Now enough about problems, Lets look at some of the People who have tried to overcome the challenges,
Shruthi is originally from Shivamogga, Karnataka. She had severe to profound hearing loss in both ears and was fitted with hearing aids. She shifted to Mysore and joined the school run by the Parent’s Association of Deaf children (PADC) after hearing news about the school from her grandfather when she was aged about 2.5 years. Initially, she was trained in her mother tongue Kannada for 3 years in the school. Thereafter she got admitted to 1st standard in a regular mainstream school and studied in Kannada medium till 7th standard and later changed the medium of instruction to English. She excelled in her studies and was able to secure a good rank in CET and got admitted to engineering in SJCE Mysore in Electronics and Communication. She eventually graduated from SJCE (8.98 credit points) and got selected to Wipro in a campus interview. Currently, she is working in Wipro Technologies, Bengaluru as a Senior Software Engineer
Kavitha has severe loss in the right ear and profound loss in the left ear. She was fitted with bilateral hearing aids. Kavitha joined a preschool run by the Parent’s Association of Deaf Children, Mysore at the age of three and a half years. She underwent intensive training in the Preschool for 3 years. Subsequently she joined regular school in Mysore. She studied in Kannada medium till 4th Standard and later changed her medium of instruction to English. She completed her SSLC with distinction by scoring 80% marks. Later she joined a Polytechnic and completed her Diploma in Computer Science with distinction. Also she did her BCA through Distance education from Karnataka State Open University, Mysore. During her school and college days she had participated in various competitions and had bagged many prizes. At present she is working in WIPRO, Bangalore as a Software Engineer. She is married and has a one year old daughter. Even with many obstacles Kavitha was able to overcome them and came out with flying colors.
Mahanth hails from Belagavi, Karnataka. He was diagnosed with Severe to Profound hearing loss in both the ears and was fitted with hearing aids when he was 3 years of age. Initially he received pre-school training in his mother tongue Kannada for 3 years. Later he was trained in English. After successfully completing his preschool training he studied in a regular school in Belagavi. He cleared his SSLC and PUC examinations with distinction from a regular school and college. He took up the CET entrance examination conducted by the CET Board of Karnataka and came out successful. At present he is studying in 2nd Year MBBS in Mysore Medical College, Mysore
there are so many people, I will try to post a collection of 3–5 people in comming articles.
Also a important point that I want to point out is each persons learning experience is different
“Just because you’ve met one deaf person , doesn’t mean you’ve met any deaf person. You cannot generalize anyone and their experiences.”
Also if you are free read this.