AIISH hosts national communication meet

AIISH hosts national communication meet

February 19, 2022
  • Over five million people have speech & hearing disabilities, says Health Mission Director
  • Prestigious Oration Awards presented

Mysore/Mysuru: A two-day 53rd national conference of the Indian Speech Language and Hearing Association (ISHA), Mysuru chapter, began at All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Manasagangothri campus this morning.

The event, titled ISHACON, began at the Knowledge Park of the AIISH and is being organised by the Mysuru Indian Speech Language and Hearing Association (MyISHA). More than 1,300 delegates are participating in the event that will be a venue for over 16 plenary talks, 36 oral research paper presentations and 115 poster presentations.

Vikas Sheel, Additional Secretary and Mission Director (National Health Mission), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), New Delhi, inaugurated the conference in virtual mode. In his address, Vikas Sheel said that more than five million citizens have communication disabilities.

“However, this number has been underestimated in the 2011 census. Many conditions that cause disability are not considered under the census classification for disability. Hence, the estimated number may be much higher than the numbers in the national census,” he said.

This also shows the magnitude of issues to be focused on by speech language pathologists and audiologists to cater to the needs of those who require your health care services.  “In fact, the WHO report of 2017 shows that persons with disability fail to access quality health care because of inadequate infrastructure, or inadequate skills of the healthcare provider. These individuals need and deserve the same quality of services as others without disabilities, as the additional disability impedes their day-to-day functioning,” Vikas Sheel noted.

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There is a lot of scope for widening the services, research and design, innovations, and advocacy in the field of speech-language pathology and audiology. In the coming decades, this profession will flourish as an epicentre for revolutionary research and rehabilitation services. The Government is promoting development of indigenous technology and entrepreneurship through ‘Start Up India’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns, the Health Mission Director said.

In his address, Dr. M. Jayaram, former Dean, NIMHANS and a speech-language pathologist who was Director of AIISH for six years, outlined how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the educational sector and speech and hearing training.

“It has irrevocably damaged the training of students in the clinical sphere. Students not being in the campus to do their clinical work and the continuous drop in the attending clinical population almost to the point of vanishing, affected the clinical training of students,” he noted.

“Training institutions in India must conduct intensive clinical training programmes of a short duration in areas in which they have greater expertise, to help students. National institutions like AIISH must show leadership. Students affected should also make visible efforts to retrieve the situation,” he added.

On the occasion, Dr. Jayaram assumed charge as the President of ISHA from Dr. Y. Krishna, Professor, MAHE, Manipal.

At the conference, three eminent personalities in the field of speech and hearing were felicitated with prestigious oration awards in recognition of their contribution to the field — Dr. M. Pushpavathi, Director, AIISH, received Dr. N. Rathna Oration award, Dr. U. Ajith Kumar, Professor of Audiology, received Prof. S. Kameswaran Endowment Oration award and S. Rajapandian received Prof. R.K. Oza Oration award. Dr. Kalyani Mandke, Director, Mandke Hearing Services, Pune, received the “Bharat award” in recognition of her services as the President of ISHA during 2011-12.


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