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Seminar on inclusion and accessibility for the deaf community draws participants from many cities

Mumbai was recently host to the first seminar on inclusion and Accessibility for the people who are deaf and hard of hearing. It was attended by deaf leaders and representatives of the community from across India and was organized by Deaf Association Mumbai (DAM).

Present where participants and guests from various cities like Bhopal, Hyderabad, Pune and Nashik to share thoughts, information, ideas and news related to the deaf community in India.

The seminar was crucial for community which has been looking to voice the challenges it faces due to lack of representation. Despite repeated attempts, the community has not been able to get its demands heard by the government and this has led to a delay in developmental activities.

Pradeep More, General Secretary, DAM, said such meet ups play a vital role. "Meet ups like this help in the sharing of information about deaf people. These are vital to bring the community together and to create awareness. Through these seminars, deaf people can get to know about their rights and fight for them with the support of others. The seminar helped bring a feeling of unity among the participants.

During the seminar, deaf leaders from Maharashtra spoke about the recent protest demonstration that was held in Pune, where thousands of deaf people had gathered to draw the government's attention. They were faced with a lathi charge at the hands of police.

The seminar covered some important topics through lectures such as attitudes towards challenges presented by T.K.M Sandeep, Deaf Enabled Foundation. There were several discussions about the latest assistive technologies that are now available for deaf people.

Priti Soni of the Deaf Can Foundation focused on women's rights.

I felt that there is a strong need for creating awareness among women about their rights under the laws. We need to work towards spreading this information among deaf women.- Priti Soni, CEO, Deaf Can Foundation

Participants were also informed about government machinery at district level and its impact on the rights and welfare of people with disabilities. Education of deaf children was also one of the topics covered.

Manoj Patwari, President, State Level Association of the Deaf (SLAD) spoke about the demands raised by the deaf community in the state and the government response.

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