The 18-year-old who aspires to work in a bank someday, said that her family and teachers from her Tamil-medium school had encouraged her to pursue her dreams.
“I used to stay in the school during the exam season. My teachers helped me a lot, especially since they have known me since my LKG days,” said Maheshwari. “During the exams, I found Commerce a little tough, but I studied until 9pm every day,” she said.
Latha Rajendran, the principal of Maheshwari’s school, MGR Institute of Special Education, said, “Children with disabilities face some problems with communication, and in schools like ours, we use maternal reflective method to help hearing-impaired children.”
“Through video-visual reading, they learn sentences. They are only exempt from the second language, and learn every other subject just like the other students. They also take the same exams similarly, but with a little extra time. We seek to boost their confidence and self-belief and give them hope that success is within their
reach,” said Rajendran. The students are also trained in vocational skills such as baking, beautician training and are also taught how to use a computer to ensure that they have good career options.
“Many hearing-impaired students have gone on to become entrepreneurs and work in prestigious firms such as RR Donnelley,” said the school principal.
Like Maheshwari, 19-year-old K Arthi, who has been deaf and dumb from birth, overcame a lot of hurdles and scored more than 180 in Mathematics.
The young graduate wants to get a government job. “I need to thank the teachers for helping me get so far,” Arthi said. Apart from her, all 15 of her classmates from Little Flower Convent School in Chennai successfully graduated this year.
“When she was younger, she found it very difficult to understand the subjects,” said Arthi’s father K Kumar. “But, she learned how to go about it from Class 3 and from then, there was no looking back for her,” he said.
Kumar added that after the school realised Arthi’s potential, they gave her a double promotion when she was in Class 6. “Though she cannot talk or hear like other children, she is confident in her studies and fares well in it”, he said.
“After securing 855 in Class 12, the school suggested she seek admission in a city college,” said Kumar, adding that Arthi would start training for state’s public service commission exam.
According to the figures given by the School Education department, 473 hearing impaired students, 372 blind candidates and 931 physically challenged students have cleared the Class 12 exams in Tamil Nadu.