Sounds of Silence (SOS) is an NGO focused on improving the lives of Hearing Impaired (HI) with the use of mobile technology. The story below is one of the many experiences they have had in interacting with HI Individuals while introducing them to technology.
Just one aim, let our friends have confidence in their ability to communicate. Make them believe that there is something in them that is greater than the music of silence that they listen to.
With this one thought WE the team SOS spearheaded by me set out to search for our new friends. With a few weeks of research and numerous telephone calls, we found our first friends at the "Dongri Children's Home", Mumbai.
A home for a number of different little stories that were once left without a title ... One such story was our star, Shahid. The first friend we made at Dongri Children's Home.
At first, we wrote a few alphabets on paper and asked if he knew them. With a confident smile, Shahid looked at us, a smile that said: "Of course I have met them before". We later wrote "Dog" and an excited Shahid expressed with his eyes and hands that he knows that too. Same was with the word "Cat".
Being in the Smartphone genre, we volunteers too had Smartphones with us. Be it the iPhone or the Blackberry, Shahid observed us type "Dog" on the keypad as keenly as he could. Within the next few moments, the excitement in this young mind grew just as the twinkle in his eyes did. When we gave him the phone, he led us to a shade nearby and sitting beside us he happily tried his hand at typing on the two smartphones. After a little difficulty in typing the first two words, the sparkle in his eyes did nothing but grew. The smile that he flashed was contagious enough to spread on to our face. An elated Shahid then took over to prove that there were many more words that he had learned and now he can type.
The words that our young star could type on that day, made our belief in this initiative stronger. The words that he typed "Apple ball cat dog god fan hen" has now been engraved in our heart as the first step towards being the change we want to see. And our journey towards making many more such friends has finally begun!
He wrote “Happy” at the end of the session which is engraved in my heart! The first symbol of success!