Location: INDIRA HOLIDAY HOME, SECTOR – 24B, CHANDIGARH    Projects: Awareness Activities: Conference



The 5th National Deaf Conference organised by National Association of the Deaf saw participation of more that 150 deaf adults who came from all over the country. The two-day conference entailed presentations by Dr. MadanVasisht (Associate Professor, Department of Administration and Supervision, Gallaudet University, Washington DC, USA), Mr. Sibaji Panda (Professor of B.A. Applied Sign Language Studies at IGNOU, Delhi & Lecturer, International Institute for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK), Mr. Zorin Singha (President) and Mr. A.S. Narayanan (General Secretary) respectively, of National Association of the Deaf.

Dr. Vasisht explained the culture of the deaf community and domestic violence in the deaf community. Deaf are those individuals who, in addition to not hearing, are members of the deaf community, subscribing to the unique cultural norms, values and traditions of that group. This community usually uses Indian Sign Language (ISL) as their first language. Their primary language is ISL, which has its own rules of grammar and syntax. Deaf become more susceptible to victimisation because of their inability to communicate with law enforcement, medical professionals, etc., helplessness and the tradition of secrecy within the culture/protection of perpetrators who are members of the community.

Dr. Madan Vasisht talked about NAD and their work that is getting recognition in every aspect of the deaf world. He insisted that more deaf individuals should join NAD and support their work and also, help them to create a greater base of membership.

Mr. Sibaji Panda explained the theme “Diversity and Unity”, how each and every individual is different yet united by a particular cause or a feeling of oneness. There are diverse modes of communication within the deaf community ranging from Sign Language to Oralism to Total Communication. He further explained if a person focuses on the differences rather than similarities, it becomes hard to progress. Unity becomes a tricky thing. We need to learn to be united in diversity.

Mr. Sibaji Panda encouraged our deaf youth to try to be an agent of change. There are problems everywhere and most may not know how to solve it. There is one process to solving a problem, no matter if it’s big or small. It is a slow process to make “change” happen, it is simple though not easy and it requires “strategy execution”. We need to start by first, identifying the issue then pinpointing the actual problem. After determining what can be done, we have to create a team with action plan which would help us to monitor accountability and then, make an impact. The key is to overcome impediments and bypass “NO’s”. He concluded with one of the popular quotes that “You don’t have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great.”

Mr. Zorin Singha and Mr. A. S. Narayanan shared their report on the developments, achievements and ongoing process being done by NAD. They shared the success of the Census of India 2011 that included the question on disability and also, the inauguration of Indian Sign Language and Training Centre (ISLRTC). Mr. Anuj Jain explained the Unity/Disunity powerpoint presentation to all deaf delegates. It helps them to have more unity between their deaf associations with different deaf associations in the parts of India.

After the Conference, most of the deaf delegates rode on the double bus from CITCO sponsoring the free of cost for double bus and went on tour to the city of Chandigarh and Rock Garden and Sukhana Lake, they had a good time and fun much for enjoying on tour to Chandigarh. We specially thank CITCO sponsoring us.







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