VAANI Deaf Children's Foundation
Hearing-impaired children cannot comprehend spoken language until they are supported with early educational intervention services. An undiagnosed three-year-old deaf child will only know about 25 spoken words, compared to 700 words for a hearing child of the same age. Pre-lingual hearing impairment impacts speech, cognitive development and further destroys chances of education and employment. That is the reason they are left behind and drop out of the educational process. That is why it becomes vital to develop tools that would support parents and teachers towards enhancing their linguistic comprehension. The best way to enhance their language and communication skills is to use visual media.
The innovative implementation, Voice To Visualisation tool (VVT), allows an introduction to new words and sentences in a sequential manner, first visuals, then sign language equivalent, and lastly the regular language text. This tool, primarily developed for the English language, is flexible enough to adapt to various regional languages. The tool offers all the features of the language simultaneously on a single dashboard (such as Writing, image display, Indian sign language (ISL), and text for building reading readiness). In pandemic situations, such innovation comes very handily for teachers and parents as face-to-face sessions are not always possible. In such a case, parents could be equipped with the credentials to use the tool and they could impart language and communication to their deaf child in a natural home setting. For teachers, while conducting online sessions, this tool could be used very effectively for teaching vocabulary and imparting different concepts.
Scalability and Impact:
Vaani has programs that are operating in the states of Assam, West Bengal, and Karnataka with 2100 stakeholders comprising of 700 hearing-impaired children and 1400 parents. This tool has been developed primarily for imparting educational instruction to our own students. However, the intention is to make it public for other organizations working in the speech and hearing field.
Awards and Recognition: