CHENNAI : Sense International India (SII) launched India’s first online teacher training course for educators of persons with deafblindness, in the city on Wednesday. Murra Coulshaw, chairperson, said that the number of deafblindness cases in India could be over 5,00,000 as there are no records. The event began with the screening of a short film Hum Hai Na.., based on the lives of Anjali Chauhan and Senthil Kumar from Raipur and Wayanad respectively. It depicted how they and their families dealt with deafblindness before and after meeting with SII. “Deafblindness is an extraordinary complex disability. It becomes challenging to communicate, because generally 95 per cent of our communication happens through these two senses,” said Murra.
SII has been supporting, educating, creating awareness and providing opportunities for both children and adults with deafblindness across 22 states and have been networking with 59 partners. The aim behind the online course was to make it more accessible to people across the world. “Many people want to work in this field and families also want to learn more about it, but never had the proper resources. Many couldn’t leave their home and work to come all the way to our centres for training. Now this course will serve as an easy platform for them to understand deafblindness,” said Uttam Kumar, head of programming, SII.
The six-month course, which will predominantly be an interactive session through Skype, will also see the instructors teaching the students sign language, braille and other methods . “We also have a module on hands-on training where candidates will be sent to our centres for a brief period. Practical experience is crucial because coping with deafblindness is not easy,” explained Srinivas, senior training officer, SII. Apart from the members of SII and SPASTN, Shazia and Mahadevan, two deafblind people from the city were also present at the event.