Hearing-impaired people still face obstacles in many areas of life although things have improved a little over time, Opportunities for a gainful employment still remain one of the biggest challenges facing them.
To make a difference to the lives of hearing-impaired people, World Federation of Deaf (WFD) observes 'World Deaf Day' or 'International Day of the Deaf' every year on the last Sunday in the month of September. The day falls on September 28 this year.
AdvertisementThe WFD, an international non-governmental organization representing approximately 70 million hearing-impaired people worldwide with a current membership of associations in 130 countries worldwide, has been celebrating the day since 1958. The last full week in September is also known as International Week of Deaf People.
The WFD encourages its national associations and their affiliates to celebrate the Day by focusing on the theme of Human Rights through Sign Language.
The organization urges solidarity among deaf people and their supporters, and provides an opportunity to stimulate greater efforts to promote the rights of deaf people.
Experts in the medical field say that awareness can make a huge difference to the lives of deaf children and adults because most often our so-called civilized society assumes that they are not good at work.
"When you are denying opportunities to a hearing impaired person, remember that there was Beethoven who conquered his deafness and led himself to being one of the greatest musicians of all time and Thomas Alva Edison, who dominated the illness and developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world and many others," experts observe..
Various social organizations are now conducting many events including lectures, debates and culture events, performance and other shows. The observance is drawing the attention of politicians, authorities and the general public to the achievements of Deaf people and the concerns of the Deaf community.
The events are designed to various aspects of prevention, early identification, management and rehabilitation of hearing loss.
Dr. Milind Kirtane, ENT Surgeon from Cumballa Heart Institute, India, said that having your newborn's hearing tested before leaving the hospital is the greatest prevention method of deafness.
Language developing process begins from birth, and the hearing impaired kid has special challenges to keep up to his maximum potential.
"Early detection of deafness allows early intervention, which, in turn, enables a better cure. Parents need to be sensitized towards early detection and there is a need to set up systems and diagnostics that support them. Hearing assessment of new born children should become a routine investigation and not be limited only to high risk babies," Dr. Kirtane added.
About one in 100 newborns in the high-risk category may have hearing problems. The risk group includes children who have low birth weight, neonatal jaundice, meningitis, respiratory tract infections, babies requiring ventilation, family history of hearing loss and abnormalities of any kind in the ear.
The hearing screening tests are simple and painless. If your baby does not pass the initial test, there is still a good chance that he/she has normal hearing. To decide the cause of hearing loss, the doctor may order a CT scan, an MRI scan, or both. If the scans do not show any physical cause for the deafness, genetic testing may be done in order to determine the nature of the hearing loss.
Once a child has been diagnosed with hearing loss, the options for cure become much clearer. For children with cochlea defects, a cochlear implant may be suggested. Others may benefit from hearing aids or a combination of hearing devices.
Remedial measures for hearing loss detected before five months helps the child develop speech skills with hearing aids and auditory verbal therapy. However, children going undetected for hearing loss may have to later go in for some expensive treatments.