Learning kit for children with hearing impairment 

CHATAKPAT is a learning kit to be used in the presence of a teacher or a parent. It helps students learn, revise, recall and repeat new words learnt in class. This builds a better vocabulary. It relies on the principle of better retention and recall through the association of pictures, words and sound. As a teaching/testing aid, it helps the teacher to assess how much and how well her students have understood what was taught in class. CHATAKPAT comprises of flashcards, alphabet cubes and plastic shaped stars as activity rewards when someone wins a task.

Are hearing impaired children, speech impaired too? Rarely. In most cases, speaking capabilities are dormant, not totally absent. Hearing loss can be corrected to some degree with the help of a hearing aid and a cochlear implant. This enables children to hear sounds, but they cannot make sense of sounds. Languages and speech, after all, need sounds, words and pictures to be associated with each other. Once the students are able to associate a particular sound with a new word and an image or experience they begin to learn. On our visit to Pragati Vidyalaya, we could not understand what students were trying to tell us as their speech was not clear. Although, they did manage to ‘speak’ in some sense. That’s when we realised that if these kids have to integrate with mainstream students at the university level or even get jobs, they need to be equipped with skills of lip-reading and speaking orally as opposed to only using the sign-language. And it is a very rare case that a child is both hearing and speech impaired. Alumni of this school, with the right hearing aid and constant practice of lip-reading and speaking, have done very well and are meaningfully engaged in professions such as teaching, service and business. With this in mind, we decided to ‘develop something that would encourage these students to speak’ and ‘CHATAKPAT’ was born.
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