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Capacity of NISH to be Doubled Soon: Health Minister

In Education
January 28, 2019

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
The state government has plans to transform the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) into a leading research institute and will double its capacity soon, said K.K. Shailaja, Minister for Health, Social Justice, and Women and Child Development, here on Monday.
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), organized 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 noted that the government has introduced various programmes like ‘Sayamprabha’, ‘Anuyathra,’ ‘Mazhavillu’ and ‘Kaathorm, catering to the elderly, transgenders and newborns. “The goal of these programmes is rehabilitation and early detection of disability.” The Minister also inaugurated the exhibition of AT products at 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.

The meet brings together various stakeholders in the AT value chain, from researchers and product developers to people with disability, who are the end-users of the technology.