Brinda Crishna was a Fnalist Women's Social Leadership Awards | Category Leader in Charitable Organisations and Campaigns 2013
What is your vision, Brinda?
My vision is to advocate for the right of every deaf child to a full and complete life with respect and dignity.
I am promoting the entitlement of every deaf child to total and complete access to communication, education, protection and personal safety, equity and equality in all spheres and information and knowledge to reach his or her full potential as an individual and as a member of society.
VAANI aims at positively influencing external stakeholders to develop more favourable policies in regard to disability and deafness. This is why we advocate the need for early intervention and quality services to deaf infants and children.
Ignorance of parents and professionals and low expectations from deaf children have been our main obstacles. Our training workshops have addressed these issues by educating parents and professionals, making them aware of the issues around childhood deafness. VAANI uses young deaf role models and resource/empowered parents during these workshops, and they are able to educate our stakeholders as to the capabilities of deaf children when provided with appropriate intervention at the right age.What is your impact to date?
VAANI has impacted the lives of 14345 deaf children, 7587 parents and 3424 professionals through capacity building programmes and workshops in Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
VAANI, as member of the state resource group on disability in Assam and Jharkhand, has been involved in improving the quality of educational services provided to deaf children by training SSA functionaries. The importance of using all modes of communication with deaf children vs. only speech has been a significant outcome of partnering with SSA Assam. Linkages with Departments of Social welfare across the Northeast has resulted in training of government frontline workers, contributing towards the identification of new deaf children.How do you insure thre quality of your work?
We believe in participatory methods of monitoring and evaluation where our partners and stakeholders are involved in the whole process.
Participatory evaluation provides a systematic process of learning through experience.
It helps stakeholders develop a sense of ownership for the work they have been doing and feel empowered at the end of the evaluation exercise, having developed the skills of being able to look critically at their challenges and learn from them.
More info about Brinda's work at VAANI here.