Dr. Arun A. Banik
Reader (Speech and Hearing) and Head-OESD
Outreach and Extension Services Department AYJNISHD,
Bandra West, Mumbai-50
Greetings! Dear all ISHA Members, invited dignitaries, professionals, friends, students and guests.
First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the members of Indian Speech and Hearing Association, for bestowing me this office at 51st ISHACON, 2019. It gives me an immense pleasure to be a part of this noble association and contribute towards ISHA’S growth & development. ISHA is a vibrant flourishing organization. Over the last five decades, ISHA has grown in numbers from a handful number members to over 3500 life members today. The organization has shown a tremendous development in various aspects like professional growth, manpower development, and research activities. ISHA has now several branches and chapters all over India that are active and are involved in creating awareness about our profession.
In-order to build a strong platform for the association and speech and hearing professionals in India, I would request all the professionals (with either bachelor’s or master’s degree) in this field to become life-members of ISHA. In the long run, this will help in developing the status of speech & hearing professionals at various work sectors.
Recently, the modified ISHA website is well contained with the information related to the organization, its members, publications, research, and other related activities. This has taken an innovative shape in our profession with most of the valuable information (such as upcoming seminar/webinar/conference/workshop details, job opportunities, addresses of speech and hearing institutes all over the country, and so on) that are essential for a speech and hearing professional as well as for allied professionals. However, there is always a scope for improvement. Hence, all the members are requested to update information concerned with the works assigned to each committee and provide valuable suggestion for improving ISHA activities.
Efforts are being made to establish state wise branches and chapters throughout India including North-Eastern States, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Island and many more. This is initiated in order to reach the unreached and create awareness & various other programs regarding speech and hearing field. This will provide an immense opportunity and platform for us to deliver our services to the persons with hearing, speech & language disabilities. The chapters / branches are encouraged to conduct more conference, awareness programs, lectures, collaborations with medical bodies to create an impact about what an ASLP can cater to the field of speech and hearing both in India and other countries. Such activities should increase in number on yearly basis.
As, the President of Indian Speech and Hearing Association, I appeal to all senior professionals and members to guide our fellow colleagues & the upcoming ASLPs to carry out such activities across all the places in India.
I take this opportunity to share my views regarding regular advance trainings for Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists; communicate within our community; with other medical professionals and para / allied- professionals regarding technical development, knowledge sharing, and advancements in clinical practices.
In the year 2018, we celebrated the Golden Jubilee year of ISHA with a glorious conference held at ‘All India Institute of Speech and Hearing- Mysore’. Since then, we are at the beginning of a new era with full commitment & advancement. “Lets us join this new beginning of ISHA making our profession much more stronger ; our stand at various work sectors much more stronger ; achieve state-of-art excellence in our specialized area of expertise ; dedicate towards true committed service for the persons with speech language and hearing disabilities and various other Divyangjan”.
Institutions/Colleges offering Speech & Hearing courses are spread across the country. In the recent times, there is an increase in the number of such colleges. We should encourage setting-up of well-equipped (as per the standards of RCI) colleges in several other states as well. Some of the training colleges are rated as “Excellent” by Assessment and Accreditation Committee appointed by the Rehabilitation Council of India. The skills of our audiologists and speech language pathologists trained so far are well appreciated by other professionals within our country and outside the country. It is important that Rehabilitation Council of India and respective affiliated Health Universities guide all the respective colleges to have good qualitative training programmes and start new integrated courses which may include Ph.D as well.
Technology has taken human society to the edge of a brave new epoch. Our country has been clear about the use and deployment of science and technology to achieve the goals of the development. Astounding technological products are changing our lives almost in real time. In view of that, organizing the exhibition on science and technology in the field of speech and hearing in the conference is a significant achievement of researchers and technologists. It is extremely impressive that it has been instrumental in bringing about sustainable improvements in the quality of life of our fellow beneficiaries, as well as in helping professional and industry with specific applications of science and technology essentially in the discipline audiology and speech language pathology. I am sure that our fellow professionals, students’ communities largely benefitted from such activities, knowledge sharing by visiting the exhibitions areas as well.
The Government of India has launched many welfare programmes for the rehabilitation of hearing disabled in the country. One of them is the ADIP scheme under which new advanced digital hearing devices and cochlear implants are included. This has brought tremendous development in the field where an Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist can actively participate in the country’s huge rehabilitation programme ; catering the services of post-surgical rehabilitation to all the beneficiaries’ with appropriate assessment for issuing the Disability certificates as an expert with the Medical Board both urban & rural areas.
I must bring to your kind attention that ISHA should work in association with all the Indian Institutes of Disabilities; National Institutes and other colleges / Universities for conducting quality training programme and technological development through which services can be provided from at the doorstep for the children and parents in a better way.
I appreciate the organizing committee of Bengaluru Chapter of ISHA for its efforts to make this 51st conference a grand success under the support of NIMHANS, involving local, national and international experts. This dynamic Bengaluru branch created a platform for academic interaction and exchange of various technical ideas. I am sure that this will enlighten experience for all the students, delegates attending the conference. I think our corporate sector and each one of us who have strived day-in and day-out in making this conference a memorable event.
Putting together all above blocks in the puzzle, speech & hearing group in India can be a major power in the days to come. We as a family can grow together, uplift the field, uplift our knowledge, make an impact of who we are, how varied expertise are present within the speech & hearing umbrella itself, increase our Life-membership official counts and ultimately, we all can play a huge role to have the rightful place in various working organizations and eradicate false practices.
With these few words, I convey my best wishes to all the committee members to carry out ISHA activities and contribute to the growth of ISHA.