Speech Therapist on a Special Mission
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09 March 2011
By Shahkar Abidi
Brothers Chirag and Devang Nandola had serious speech problems all through their growing years. They could not communicate with anyone. However, after sustained efforts of Dr Devangi Dalal, a Santa Cruz–based audiologist and speech therapist, the brothers not only speak normally but also doing well in their life.
Dalal has made a difference in the life of many people suffering from speech problems and children who were hearing impaired. "Hearing impaired is no more a handicap. I want to spread this message to each and every corner of this country," said Dalal.
At present, the therapist is trying to help around 250 special children of three schools that she has adopted in Mumbai and one in Gujarat. Most of these children come from poor families and do not have resource to get proper digital hearing devices.
In order to help the children Dalal tries to arrange for philanthropists so that the right kind of hearing aid could be provided to them for a nominal fee or in some cases free of cost.
She believes that each of these children who go to special schools can be brought into the mainstream, but it will require a lot of effort. In order to do that the teachers and parents of these schools are required to be taught the correct method of handling them. "Every one has to keep in mind that we should communicate with people with hearing and speech disorder in a similar manner, the way we speak with normal people," she said.
Dalal has presented many research papers and documents at various platforms around the world, talking about the status of hearing impaired kids in India and efforts that are to be taken to improve their condition.