The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) & Deaf Enabled Foundation (DEF),Hyderabad jointly organized two workshops, namely the Advanced Leadership Training Workshop & the Women’s Leadership Training Workshop on the 1st & 2nd of February 2010 in Hyderabad. Professor Madan Vasishta was the resource person for both the workshops.
Dr. Madan M. Vasishta was born in India. He completed his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Gallaudet University which is the only University for Deaf people in the world. Dr. Vasishta has worked in various capacities such as teacher, supervisor, program evaluator, principal and superintendent in several schools around the United States. He is currently a lecturer at the Gallaudet University.
Advanced Leadership Training Workshop:
There were 110 participants for the Advanced Leadership Training Workshop of which 70 were Deaf men and 40 were Deaf women who came from several cities around India. At the workshop Dr. Vasishta taught the participants about the relevant laws and the rights they could exercise to live better lives. He the informed the participants about various subjects including United Nation Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD),the American Disability Act (ADA) and Persons with Disabilities (PWD). He presented his observations on a comparative study of the American Disability Act (ADA) and the Persons with Disabilities Act (PWD) in India. He also made a presentation on the technology for the Deaf that is currently available and also those which will be available in the future such as Video Relay Interpreting, etc.
Dr. Vasishta conducted a group exercise in which six groups of 15 members each were given the task of discussing and suggesting what they wanted to include and change in the current PWD Act. Each group was then asked to prepare a chart with their suggestions. Following this there was a question and answer session for about two hours which addressed the queries of the participants. The participants found the workshop very good and empowering.
Women’s Leadership Training Workshop:
This workshop was attended by about 100 Deaf women leaders from all over India. During this workshop the women who came from different backgrounds shared that they felt helpless in almost every area of their lives. They shared that they had many complaints to make to their parents or schools concerning domestic violence, harassment, cheating cases related to property matters and sexual abuse.
Dr. Vasishta got the women to form five groups of 20 each and gave them the exercise discussing and writing down how the Deaf women could be empowered and how they could face their problems and find solutions to them.Most of the women expressed that there was a need for educating women about the laws and their rights, providing information on pregnancy, birth and health awareness and also providing awareness about abuse.
Dr. Vasishta then collected the charts and spoke to the women encouraging them saying that it was important for them to have knowledge of their rights and be educated about abuse and alimony. He emphasised that the women leaders played a very crucial role in the development of Deaf women.The video recording of both the workshops which were held in Sign Language are available.