The year 2002 started with the inclusion of DEAF REACH in the GITEX EXHIBITION held in Hyderabad from January 1st to the 9th with a special stall donated by the Secretary, IT Shri Satyanarayana IAS to project the work of and for the Deaf and hailed by the Governor and Lady Governor as one of the best stalls. The weeklong exhibition highlighted social responsibility and recognition of the deaf as potential workers in the IT Sector. As of Jan 2002 Ms. Candice B.Sc Computers MBA Finance/PG/HRD has consented to serve part time as the CEO.
The CMD requested the Parents Teacher Association to be more responsible in the affairs of DEAF REACH and to take initiative in the activities, including helping the Deaf with housing facilities, ration cards, bus/railway passes etc.,
In March our records were inspected in connection with the grant of first installment received from GOI. The sudden death of the CEO and Founder of Deaf Reach Shri JSK Rao had serious repercussions. Immediately on confirmation of the renewal of the grant efforts plans are being made for community based rehabilitation for the Deaf. This program will assure maximum empowerment for deaf young people with the courses on English, Bilingualism (sign & written) relationships & health and life skills training and jobs for those who have been trained as teachers.
The new financial year brought changes: 4 members trained and experienced took up the responsibility of teaching and training.
In April the Commissioner Disabilities informed the Chairperson of Deaf Reach of the government backlog vacancies to be filled by the disabled. The members were directed to meet the deaf and the CMD will meet the CM to request certain exemptions and considerations:
- That the filling up of 1% of the 3% for disabilities be mandated only for the profound deaf
- That the technical training to be acknowledged as equivalent to intermediate; in view of the fact that there is only one junior college for boys in Baptla for the entire State and with a request for a college at district headquarters.
- That the deaf be interviewed with an interpreter in view of the use of sign language
- Consideration of special schools proposal submitted for pre and primary schools for deaf children before integration with hearing children.
- Grant of lease of land requisitioned in 1997/1999 through the Collector RR District.
- Request for release of funds to assist some of the deaf leadership to attend the DEAF WAY II in USA.
- State Assistance to NGOs for special services.
In May orientation classes were held for teachers of the deaf in English. Request to be made to NIHH for inclusion of sign language in the Teachers Training and to send us material to help with our various courses.
In June 02 our CMD approached the Governor of AP & First Lady who immediately consented to host the Helen Keller Birthday Celebrations and present the Anne Sullivan Awards to teachers of the deaf and blind, the activists also of the deaf and blind and our supporters. DEAF REACH organized the entire program with support from the PTA.