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21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 - Hearing Impairment - Deaf and hard of hearing

Today we will talk about Hearing Impairment, one of the 21 disabilities that is covered under the RPWD ACT 2016.

Hearing is the ability to perceive sounds through ear. Some people are not able to hear any sounds while some can hear sounds at a certain higher levels after amplification.

People who cannot hear or are hard of hearing come under the parameters of hearing related disabilities. Not being able to hear can severely affect the academic and social life of a person.

Deaf people are also not able to speak in most cases as speech and hearing are interrelated. To form words we need to hear the sounds and pronunciations they make.

cause & treatment

Loss of hearing can occur due to various factors and can be partial or complete. Some common causes for hearing disabilities are genetics, age, noise exposure, infections, medications or toxins, injuries.

Loss of hearing is diagnosed through hearing tests and the tests are recommended for all new born babies.

The treatment of hearing problems depends on their cause, type and severity. Some types of hearing losses can be cured through surgical treatments, cochlear implants while some are incurable. Some people can also get to hear sounds with the use of technology such as hearing aids.

"Deaf people want their voices to be heard as they are discriminated and ignored most of the time by policy makers. We want to be treated with equality, respect and dignity and not be isolated by the society. Laws made for our protection and welfare need to be implemented effectively and we should be made a part of the mainstream."Jaysing Kale, Hon. Secretary, SLAD

Sign language

Deaf people use sign language to communicate with others. To communicate in sign language, hands, arms and facial expressions are used. It is a highly developed form of communication used by deaf people and varies from place to place as per the local language.

Hearing people also learn the language of signs and act as interpreters between the deaf and hearing communities. Sign language is recognized as an official language in many countries across the world.

Deaf people also use the technique of lip reading to understand what other people are saying. This is done by looking at the lips of a person who is talking.

"Deaf people have a lot of potential and talent and we only need equal opportunity in education and employment. Governments make laws and schemes for us but their benefits do not reach us because of ineffective implementation." Rajesh Kulkarni, President, OKVS

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