First and foremost, N.A.D aims to be a body that is truly representative of all deaf people across India. This includes deaf people in every state in India. Currently in India there is not a strong deaf movement, so N.A.D. aims to rally deaf people in order to demand their rights from the Government and policy makers. The rights of the deaf in India have been trampled upon without any organisation raising its voice and providing any relief to the deaf community in any sustainable tangible way and what little has been done is only scratching the surface of the urban deaf population. The signing deaf community has no real status within society.
While N.A.D. is still in its infancy, it has already made steps towards improving the lives and quality of life of deaf people in India. It is currently hosting State Level Meetings across India. There are already well over 2,500 members of N.A.D., but these meetings aim to recruit more members as well as informing current members and their families of N.A.D. and what it is working for and hopes to achieve in the future. These meetings also hope to increase awareness of the general public at large to N.A.D and the deaf community.
These State Level Meetings include a discussion of N.A.D.’s movements since its formation, with speeches being made from some of NAD.’s Board Members. A working group is to be set up in each state in order to conduct N.A.D. activities in that state as well as being the representative body for the deaf community in that area. Different organisation will also be encouraged to become member affiliates to N.A.D. Newsletters will be handed out, and new membership will be encouraged. There will also be debate into how to take N.A.D. forward as well as informing all members of up and coming activities.
N.A.D. has also been working with a Human Rights NGO in Delhi to file some PILs in the Supreme Court on the current state of education of the deaf and also concerning the promotion of Indian Sign Language and Sign Language Interpreters.
N.A.D. has organised 3 national consultations on various subjects. In February a consultation on Deaf Education was held and Government officials, experts in the field, prominent NGO figures as well as people from the Deaf community attended. From this a list of actions was raised to form a position paper on deaf education. The next consultation was on Communication and Sign Language Interpreters with the aim of setting up India’s first association of Sign Language interpreters. This was held in January 2007 with the Linguistic Department of Jawahar Lal Nehru University Delhi. The Association of Sign Language Interpreters has been launched as of June 2007.
Another project of N.A.D. has been to begin education of the deaf on the subject of Rights and the Law. Educational sessions, conducted in Sign Language, have been made into VCDs and disseminated amongst the Deaf across India.
N.A.D relies on the support from its members and the general public at large.