Best Teacher Award for Vellore Special Educator
M Selvi, who is employed as a special educator at the Government supported-NGO run Early Intervention Center (EIC) for infants with hearing impairment at the Panchayat Union Middle School at Dharapadavedu, bagged the Best Special Educator Award instituted by the government of Tamil Nadu this year. She received the award from Social Welfare Minister P Valarmathi recently.
The EIC project was launched by the State five years back across the State with the NGO WORTH Trust being the implementing agency in Vellore.
Selvi completed a one-year diploma in Teaching Young Hearing Impaired offered from the NGO Balavidhyalaya in Chennai before being appointed in the first batch of trained special educators at the school. “We train hearing impaired infants of less than 3 years of age to utter words, weave them into sentences, using appropriate hearing aids and so far we have integrated 11 children from the centre into a regular school where they are doing very well” she said.
She trains the parents, especially the mothers, to understand the new approach. “The focus is to make the infants experience the words directly without which they normally resort to sign language. Sign language may be handy to communicate with other hearing impaired but not with the general public. We emphasise lip-reading despite using hearing aids,” she said.