Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government has plans to transform the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) here into a leading research institute and to double its capacity soon, said K K Shailaja, Minister for Health, Social Justice, and Women and Child Development, here the other day.
The Minister was speaking after inaugurating seminars on ‘Unlocking Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Concepts in Children with Communication Needs’ and ‘Forging the Assistive Technology Value Chain’ on the NISH campus.
Shailaja also said that the National Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (NIPMR), Thrissur, will be upgraded to a global institute.
The seminars were held on the sidelines of the two-day conference on Assistive Technology (AT), organised by the Centre for Assistive Technology and Innovation (CATI) at NISH in association with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering’s (IEEE) Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC), IEEE SIGHT (Special Instant Group on Humanitarian Technology) Kerala Section, and Kerala Development and Strategic Innovation Council (K-DISC).
The Minister said that the State Government has introduced various programmes like ‘Sayamprabha’, ‘Anuyathra,’ ‘Mazhavillu’ and ‘Kaathoram, catering to the elderly, transgenders and newborns. ‘’The goal of these programmes is rehabilitation and early detection of disability,’’ she said. The Minister also inaugurated an exhibition of AT products on the campus.
In his welcome speech, Dr K G Satheesh Kumar, Executive Director in Charge, NISH, said, “We are able to bring the best resources of the country to these two events. We have around 200 participants from across the country.”
Dr. Sudha Kaul, Padma Shri recipient and Vice-Chairperson and Trustee, Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Kolkata; Dr. Therese Willkomm, Director-New Hampshire AT Programme, US; and Dr. Mohammed Asheel, Executive Director, Kerala Social Security Mission, were present on the occasion.