Hyderabad, August 2020: The Telangana Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists Association (TASLPA) – an association of over 270 audiologists and speech therapists, hosted a two-day Continuing Rehabilitation Education (CRE) webinar, under the aegis of the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), on “Tele-Learning for Children with Amplification Devices”, for Audiology and Speech and Language Pathology and Special Educators dealing with children with hearing impairment, from across the country. The first-ever RCI approved Webinar by any State Speech and Hearing Association in the country, was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Prof. MN Nagaraja, Former Dy. Director, Ali Yavar Jung Institute for Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai. Also present on the occasion were Guest of Honor Mr. Peddi Reddy, South Zone In-charge, RCI and office bearers of TASLPA Dr. CS Swathi, President; Mr. P Rajender Kumar, (I/C) Secretary; Ms. Garima V., Treasurer; Mr. Madhusudhan Reddy, Program coordinator & EC; Ms M Sarala Rani & Mr S Satheesh,(I/C) EC members; Ms. Aparna R. & Mr. B Shiv Prasad, Advisors and Ms. A Srividya, Ms Susan O. & Ms. Santoshi, co-chairs R & D; Ms Amulya Research Associate, ISHA (Indian Speech and Hearing Association) and over 220 delegates from all over India including Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Orissa, besides Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Dr Ratna, fondly known as ‘Father of Speech and Hearing field in India’, appreciated TASLPA’s efforts through a video message.
Speaking on the occasion Prof. MN Nagaraja, said, telerehabilitation is a leap forward for our profession, it helps to bridge the gap between people, though we all are in distant locations of the country still we could attend and learn from this Webinar, that way it helps in easy access to each other, becomes economical too. Tele-therapy needs a lot of preparation and homework from the therapist before he administers, as it lacks the feedback mechanism available during personalised counselling.
The Webinar extensively focused on topics which are of great relevance in the current scenario of social distancing with the emphasis being laid on online education and addressed the unique and compounded challenges faced by children with hearing impairment. The webinar reflected on Care and Maintenance of Hearing aids and Cochlear Implants during these pandemic times; challenges due to transition of speech therapy from in-person to online remote counselling for children with hearing impairment; web-based special education programs for pre-primary, primary and secondary school children with hearing impairment and Government schemes and policies for children with hearing impairment. The faculty comprised of eminent Audiologists and Speech therapists, Mr N Madhusudhan Reddy, Audiologist, Global Speech and Hearing Clinic, Kukatpally; Mr Shiva Prasad B., Senior Audiologist and Cochlear Implantation Advisor, Shravya Speech and Hearing Clinics, Hyderabad; Ms Nagamalleshwari, Speech Therapist, Shravya Speech and Hearing Clinic, Hyderabad and Special Educators Dr Jyothi and Dr Sridevi and Lecturer Mrs Aparna Ravichandran, from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for Speech & Hearing Disabilities, Secunderabad.
“In these pandemic conditions dealing with children with special needs has become a herculean task for parents and caregivers. This webinar focussed on the challenges and ways to mitigate them with audiology and speech therapy specialists sharing tips. The experts also shared insight on online Speech Therapy and web-based educational programs for children with Amplification Devices. The webinar equipped the professionals of Audiology and Speech and Language Pathology and Special Educators, especially from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, with best practices” says Dr Swathi.
The chief guest for the valedictory held today was, Prof. R Rangasayee, Chair Audiology Committee, International Association of communication sciences and Disorders (IALP) quoted Helen Keller, “Blindness separates people from things; while deafness separates people from people”. how can we allow our Children to be aloof in this pandemic, he questioned? The guest of honour was Dr S Santhi Prakash, Reader & Former Asst. Director (I/C) Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for Speech & Hearing Disabilities, Secunderabad.