And thanks to the ‘ears’ that he received from audiologist and speech therapist Devangi Dalal, Dave not only realized his CA dreams today, but the Amreli resident is also bursting in self-confidence.
Dalal had become the first Indian to win the humanitarian award from the American Academy of Audiologyin 2012.
“I had met Dave in 1998. He realized that for a CA it is important to be heard and understood. We had initially started with analogue hearing aids but later shifted to digital hearing aids. If one interacts with him today they will not even know that he has a hearing disability,” said Dalal, who has her roots in Gujarat.
In 2012, Dalal had become the first Indian to win the humanitarian award from the American Academy of Audiology in Boston and has so far helped many others like Dave give wings to their dreams. Some of the beneficiaries are even working as air hostesses today.
Dalal is the national coordinator of the Indian Speech-Language Association’s special interest group private practice in audiology.
Krutesh (name changed), another patient from Ahmedabad was just one and a half-year-old when he was diagnosed with hearing loss. “I have been checking him and giving him hearing aids as per requirement. Today, he runs his own shop and easily interacts with people,” said Dalal, who is the only audiologist from India to be appointed in the advocacy committee of Coalition Global Hearing Health (CGHH) that works with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dalal remembers how a deaf adolescent boy had shifted to Mumbai from Bengaluru and was finding it tough to cope up with schools in Mumbai despite doing good in his CBSE school.
“I advised his parents to use the best digital hearing aids and also told them to make him practice monitoring his voice. He took part in one talent contest in which he came first and suddenly his confidence boosted up. Later, he stood first in disabled category with 91% in Class XII, did engineering from SP Jain Institute and completed masters from the United States where he is settled now,” recollects Dalal.
The Juvenile Organization of Speech and Hearing (JOSH) Foundation which she has co-founded has so far helped 1,200 children – 25 % of whom have been integrated into the mainstream education system.