SHRUTI has been undertaking a range of activities in collaboration with its partners in the areas of advocacy and awareness raising, service provision, capacity building and networking to promote the rights and empowerment of people who are hard-of-hearing and deafened. Major projects with partner organizations are:
Inclusive Livelihood – Central
Partner: DDP (UK) and DHRC (Nepal)
Financial Supporter: USAID
Period: 3 Years (Nov 2022 to Oct 2025)
The Inclusive Livelihoods – Central (Sakcham – Central) project, funded by USAID, aims to enhance employment opportunities for young adults with disabilities in Nepal, is being implemented through a partnership between Disability and Development Partners (DDP), Nepal Disability Human Rights Center (DHRC-Nepal), and SHRUTI: National Association of the Hard of Hearing and Deafened Nepal.
A key component of the project is to provide computer training to 130 young people with disabilities. This comprehensive training covers various IT topics, including software applications, computer hardware, and networking. By equipping participants with these skills, the project aims to enhance their competitiveness in the job market.
Furthermore, the project goes beyond IT training. It also offers job-seeking skills training, mentoring, and support to help participants in their job search. Additionally, the project actively raises awareness among employers and stakeholders about the employment needs of people with disabilities.
The Inclusive Livelihoods-Central project is a vital initiative that is positively transforming the lives of young people with disabilities in Nepal. By providing them with the necessary skills and support, the project empowers participants to secure meaningful employment and contribute to the country’s economy. Ultimately, the project contributes to building a more inclusive society, where individuals with disabilities can fully realize their potential.
Improvement of Accessibility for Hard of Hearing People in Healthcare
Financial Supporter: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Period: 3 Years (Jan 2022 to Dec 2024)
A Pilot Project of Accessible Communication Support for Hard of Hearing Patients in Kathmandu Hospital is being implemented by SHRUTI and ZENNANCHO under the financial support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The project has been started in January 2022 and will be implemented for three years, till Dec 2024. The goal of the project is to establish communication support services for hard-of-hearing patients in the ENT Department of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH).
The main expected outputs of the project are to develop communication support tools and manual for Nepali HoH persons; implement sustainable communication support between HoH people and the hospital staff; widen the understanding of the communication support model in other hospitals of Kathmandu. At the end of the project, it is expected that the TUTH will have its own communication tool and manual and will be able to provide sustainable accessible communication support to its hearing loss patients. So that, hard of hearing people can access the healthcare services in the barrier free manner.
IT Training and Jobs for Hard-of-Hearing Young Adults
Partner: Disability and Development Partner (DDP)
Financial Supporter: British and Foreign School Society (BFSS)
Period: 3 Years (Aug 2020 to Jul 2023)
SHRUTI has found throughout its works with HoH young people that hard-of-hearing (HoH) young adults generally have lower educational attainment and therefore fewer opportunities for training and employment. A lack of communication support at school means HoH people are left behind in education and life, invariably with poor learning outcomes that hinder their subsequent chances. In addition, hard-of-hearing people face stigma and the perception of learning difficulties; people are unaware of simple techniques to aid communication, e.g. talking face-to-face to facilitate lip-reading. It is hard for HoH young people to access further education opportunities and the job market.
Hence, the project was jointly developed with the DPP and funded by the BFSS for three years. DDP and SHRUTI have partnered on 3 previous projects, including 2 educational projects funded by BFSS (developing a demonstration model for the inclusion of children with hearing disabilities in rural schools from April to November 2016; and training teachers on how to include HoH and deafened primary schoolchildren from May 2017 to February 2018, both in Nepal’s Dhading District).
The project aims to train 60 young adults in IT basic skills in 3 years starting from Aug 2020 to Jul 2023. Secondary school leavers within the 19-25 age range. A 3-month work placement (internship) will follow the 6-month course in IT. The placements will be a stepping-stone to jobs or further education/training for HOH young adults.
The main goals of the project are:
- HoH young people gain access to innovative IT training services which are specifically designed and adapted to meet their learning needs in a welcoming, caring environment – with high expectations for their potential.
- HoH young people are enabled to learn effectively, gain skills, and attain to their full potential thanks to the provision of an adapted curriculum and teaching methods informed by the specialist experience of education for the hard of hearing.
- 60 HoH young adults demonstrate improved IT skills by passing the course requirements for certification and are thus able to offer these skills to potential employers.
- 60 HoH young people have improved prospects of gaining meaningful employment through suitable, quality-controlled work experience placements, and work-related learning such as job-seeking and interview skills.
SHRUTI has well-equipped training units with a standard basic IT curriculum and training materials according to the needs of HOH learners and a professional instructor with specialized induction in teaching HOH learners. Due to the COVID pandemic, the project was effected. So far (Aug 2022) 21 HOH young adults have completed the IT course. Among them, 8 were already placed in internships to experience the real working environment, 6 were able to get jobs in different sectors and remaining 7 continued their further study. Similarly, currently, 15 HOH people are attending the course.
Rehabilitation Service for the development of Speech, Language and Education to the Young Children with Hearing Loss
Partner: Kathmandu Metropolitan City
Financial Supporter: Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens
Period: 2 Fiscal Years (2021-022 and 2022-023)
The research findings indicate a high prevalence of hearing loss among schoolchildren in Nepal. Furthermore, it reveals that parents and teachers of children with hearing loss lack the necessary knowledge and skills to support their children’s speech and language development and learning. Hence, children with hearing loss have difficulties in learning due to their communication disability and available accessibility.
To address this issue, SHRUTI, with the support of Royal Kentalis, has developed experts who provide itinerant support services to young children with hearing loss. This initiative aims to coach parents and class teachers in effectively supporting children with hearing loss. Since the fiscal year 2021-2022, SHRUTI has been providing itinerant support services to young children with hearing loss with the assistance of the Ministry of Women, Children, and Senior Citizens and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City.
These support services are offered by SHRUTI beyond regular school hours at the SHRUTI’s premises. In addition to supporting children with hearing loss, SHRUTI provides training to parents and teachers of these children. The Itinerant Service Provision (ISP) experts also visit schools where children with hearing loss are enrolled to observe classroom management and teaching strategies. They provide guidance to the class teachers in creating an accessible learning environment.
Initially, SHRUTI started supporting eight young children with hearing loss in 2020, SHRUTI has seen an increase in the number of beneficiaries. In 2022, the number of children rose to 18, and in 2023, it reached 25 children. The word-of-mouth communication among parents has led to a growing demand for these services, with more than 10 children with hearing loss currently on the waiting list.
Therefore, SHRUTI is actively seeking support from interested parties to provide a classroom environment that caters to the specific needs of children with hearing loss. Their aim is to create an inclusive educational environment and ensure that these children receive the necessary support to thrive academically and socially.
Development of Itinerant Service Provision for Hard-of-Hearing Children in Nepal
Partner: Kentalis International Foundation (KIF)
Financial Supporter: Vrienden van Effatha
Period: 2.5 Years (Jul 2019 to Dec 2021)
SHRUTI intends to operate as an expertise center for hard-of-hearing people in Nepal. With support of Kentalis International Foundation/Royal Kentalis, the Netherlands, SHRUTI had implemented a project on the development of itinerant service providers for children with hard of hearing studying in mainstream schools. This project aimed to develop itinerant experts to support the development of language and communication skills and improve the quality of education of the hard-of-hearing young children by providing itinerant services for them and their parents, caregivers, and teachers.
In order for SHRUTI to be able to provide itinerant services and to become an expertise center for hard-of-hearing children in Nepal, Kentalis experts provided training for the experts working at SHRUTI which comprises a psychologist, an educational expert, and two communication supporters. After the completion of the two year’s training in June 2021, the senior itinerant experts of SHRUTI provided training to the other 4 trainees with the supervision of the experts of Kentalis. After completion of the project in Dec 2021, SHRUTI has a viable knowledge base to develop into a center of expertise and is able to provide itinerant services to schools with hard-of-hearing learners as well as information and coaching to parents, caregivers, teachers, and school management members.
The project was concluded followed by the certificate distribution ceremony on 22 Dec 2021. Due to the pandemic of COVID 19, the representatives of Kentalis could not participate in person in the program. Utilizing the technology, a hybrid program was organized participating by key persons, and rest participated via zoom.
Even after the completion of the project, SHRUTI has been providing itinerant support services to 18 children with hearing loss with the financial support of the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens and close coordination with the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. SHRUTI’s itinerant experts have developed individual education plans for each child. The trained itinerant teachers have been observing their development and providing coaching to the parents and class teachers. SHRUTI intends to expand the service to regular pre-schools and primary schools and teachers where hard-of-hearing children study.
Improving the Status of Hard-of-Hearing (HOH) in Nepal
Partner: MyRight and UH
Financial Supporter: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
Period: 4 Years (Jan 2018 to Dec 2021)
Although the state rectified the CRPD in 2010, hard of hearing (HOH) people are still deprived of getting their identity and accessibility rights in Nepal. Hence, the goal of the project was to improve the status of HOH people in Nepal. The project mainly focuses on four components. These include awareness-raising on issues of HOH people, advocacy for HOH peoples’ rights (communication and access to education and employment), expansion of the organizational and HOH people network within the country, and capacity enhancement of the organization as well as the HOH people. The project was implemented from Jan 2018 to Dec 2021.
The major activities of the project were:
- To sensitize the issues and needs of HOH people to the policymakers through awareness-raising activities and advocacy meetings.
- To increase economic opportunities for HOH people and their family members through skill development training.
- To promote captioning and subtitles to enhance the accessibility needs of HOH to live a barrier-free life in society by providing training to the captioners.
- To expand the organizational network and HOH peoples’ network outside of the country for a unified voice and advocacy at the local level.
- To enhance the organizational capacity through training for the board of members and staff and formulating policy documents.
38 numbers of advocacy meetings were organized with the government authorities in the field of communication, education, and employment of HOH people. The advocacy meetings let the policymakers understand the needs of HOH people are different than deaf, earlier they thought sign language was the solution for accessibility for both. Some authorities also committed to putting subtitles in the information videos of the state. HOH peoples’ data was segregated from the deaf data in the population census of 2021.
During the project period, 18 numbers of HOH people acquired 10 types of skill development training. Some HOH people got employment opportunities and 8 HOH people engaged in their self-employment. Besides that, 190 HOH people got the opportunity to expand their skills and knowledge and enhanced their confidence via other types of training conducted during the project period.
Captioning is the main accessible need of HOH people for communication, which SHRUTI has introduced and started manual live captioning in its programs since its establishment. Considering the lack of trained captioners (speech-to-text interpreters), the project provided captioning training to 6 people with the cooperation of the professional captioners of Sweden. Now the trained captioners are ready to serve HOH people in meetings, workshops, and seminars.
One of the major objectives of the project was to expand HOH network outside of the capital city. The project succeeded to establish HOH people’s group in 7 different districts and among them, two groups already registered the HOH association in two districts, namely Banke and Rupandehi. The remaining four HOH Peoples’ groups of Dolakha, Chitwan, Kaski, Morang, and Jhapa are in the process of registration. Similarly, the project also provided an opportunity for SHRUTI to understand other partner organizations’ issues and needs which were funded by MyRight. Additionally, the representatives of the SHRUTI got an opportunity to participate in the learning visit to Sweden. This visit expands their knowledge of the latest communication technology, support, and practices for HOH people being used in developed countries.
The project conducted capacity assessments of the organization every year such as ACCA and OCTAGON assessments. Based on the result, a number of training programs for the board members and staff were conducted to enhance the capacity of the organization. After these inductions of the project, SHRUTI was able to improve its assessment status gradually. Similarly, the project also encouraged the formulation of policy documents for the smooth operation of the organization.