It is our Mission and Vision to mainstream children with hearing loss by providing hope and empowerment to their parents and primary caregivers and co-creating an ecosystem that fosters a culture of inclusiveness.
In the fulfillment of our Mission and Vision we have identified Education, Mental Health, Knowledge Hub and Advocacy as our four key focus areas. The areas have been identified based on a deep and holistic understanding of the parents’ needs as well as the need to create a positive, inclusive eco-system for children with hearing loss.
Our Key Focus Areas
EducationTo integrate children into mainstream schools successfully
VConnect has published a MAINSTREAM GUIDE for parents, mainstream educators and hearing health professionals who work with children with hearing loss. The guide has been put together by a team of dedicated parents and professionals and edited by Ellen A. Rhoades, Eds, LSLS Cert. AVT and International Consultant and Mentor.
The guide has been published in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati and can be downloaded for free from our Resources section.
A series of workshops have been conducted around four key themes of the guide:
- How We Hear
- Preparing and Equipping for Mainstream
- Strategies, Guidelines and Tips for Teachers
- Best use of Technology for Online Classes/ Hearing Technology and Support for Online Classes.
VConnect offers curated workshops for organizations and educational institutes. Please connect with us on [email protected]
I am Umesh Agrawal from Dhule Maharashtra,father of a 10 year old bilateral cochlear implant child. I have been connected with VConnect Foundation for the last 3-4 yrs. I want to share my experience about mainstream guides by Vconnect.
The Mainstream Guide by Vconnect foundation is very useful for cochlear implanted children and their parents. It provides guidance to the teachers and caretakers of such children about how to bring such children to mainstream society. Their webinars are very useful. It also helps to change the mindset of the society about such children. It’s really very helpful for parents like us. I suggest they take more such webinars and I also request parents to watch their webinars regularly. Their other activities also help us in day to day problems which we face regarding such children. Thanks to VConnect.
Umesh Agrawal, parent of Dhairya Agrawal – 10 years, Nashik -Dhule Circle
We parents of Chinmay Gadage attend all the programs organised by VConnect Team. We really had felt lost when we first heard about hearing loss of our son…but VConnect has given us strength and beliefs…The Mainstream Guide is also really useful as a guiding star for us which shows the way to sail our sheep. All programs organised by the Team are also very useful and these support us for the development of our child…We also have been developing our skills to grow our child..
Mandar Gadage, parent of Chinmay Gadage – 4.5 years, South Mumbai Circle
Mental HealthTo nurture the mental health of caregivers and children
VConnect has established a strong partnership with Ummeed Child Development Centre and Raviraj Shetty, Occupational Therapist and Co-founder, Narrative Practices India for the Mental Health programme. The program is headed by Ms. Julie Thakkar, Director Mental Health and supported by Vahishtai J Daboo, LSLS Cert. AVT, Co-Founder and Managing Trustee. Both Julie and Vahishtai are certified Mental Health practitioners. The Mental Health program at VConnect has two components – outreach and support.
Outreach – Parent Peer Support Mental Health Training
Seventeen parents are certified as mental health facilitators after completing an eight -month training program conducted in collaboration with Ummeed Child Development Center. The parents were trained in Narrative Approach which is a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling and community work, which centres people as the experts in their own lives.
The certified VConnect Mental Health Facilitators now conduct on-going Parent Peer Support workshops to nurture the mental health of caregivers in the VConnect Community. These workshops are conducted in fun and creative ways, which empower caregivers by engaging them in co-learning simple strategies which help nurture their own and the mental health of their families. The sessions are conducted across all the VConnect circles and are offered in four different languages – English, Hindi, Gujarati, or Marathi to ensure accessibility to all.
Outreach – Support group teenagers and young adults
We run support groups to support and empower teenagers and young adults to help strengthen their confidence, build better social emotional skills, and develop connections, friendships and bonds with their peers. This is turn helps develop self-advocacy skills and empowers them to achieve their full potential. These are conducted by teenagers who are being trained by Juliee and Vahishtai. The support sessions are conducted in Hindi and English.
Support – Chai Pe Charcha/ Coffee Connect
Chai Pe Charcha / Coffee Connect is an open forum and a space where families share experiences, ask questions, discuss and think together on issues they are struggling with or want guidance on. This helps build a community that feels supported and creates a safe space for recreation and peer bonding for the community.
Support – Chatrooms
Every VConnect member is part of a VConnect circle based on geography and is a member of the Circle chatroom. The chatroom helps parents share and learn from each other as well as pose queries that get responded to by experts.
Knowledge HubTo disseminate knowledge to caregivers and professionals for the holistic development of the child
Information and knowledge are provided on a vast array of subjects that are of importance to the caregiver and to professionals helping them take necessary steps for the holistic development of their children.
As part of the VIDYA SERIES different subject matter experts are invited to address parents and provide insights and approaches that help in the holistic development of their children. Topics, skills, and knowledge about different aspects of child development, maternal wellbeing, genetic counselling, hearing health including hearing devices (cochlear implants, hearing aids, BAHA), Listening and Spoken Language (Auditory Verbal Therapy), How to Develop Literacy Skills, are covered. The sessions are conducted every on every fourth Saturday of the month. The YouTube links for the sessions already conducted are available in the Resources section.
The SAATH SAATH SERIES focuses on helping every child realize their full potential
Co-curricular activities are conducted by professionals in the fields such as Speech & Drama, Music, Story Telling, Quilling, Art and Career Counselling to name a few. The children participate along with their caregivers, siblings and families.
The Resources section on the website has a compilation of material that can be of assistance to parents and professionals. An FAQ series is available that addresses most common concerns and queries.
Very useful information is provided under the Vidya Series. Presenters are very knowledgeable and offer valuable information and tips.VConnect Foundation is a good support group for parents of children with hearing loss.
Aayushi Khandelwal, parent of Shivansh Khandelwal – 2.5 years, Rajasthan Circle
The Vidya Series organised by VConnect Foundation is extremely helpful.The techniques which they make parents and caregivers understand for the therapy are very precise and thorough for the practical approach. The knowledge and experience the organisers share are very precious and priceless.
Jalpa Anil Charola, parent of Aatreya Anil Charola -19 years,Gujarat Circle
Sath Sath Series
वीकनेक्ट फाउंडेशन के द्वारा किये गए निश्वार्थ कार्य वाकई काबिले तारीफ है, समय समय पर विभिन्न प्रोग्राम से बच्चो के विकास के लिए उचित दिशा निर्देशन सदा ही लाभ प्रद रहता है | वी कनेक्ट फाउंडेशन के प्रोग्राम मे एक “साथ साथ सीरीज” जो हर माह के दूसरे शनिवार को आयोजित होती है, बहुत ही लाभ प्रद है, क्योकि इस प्रोग्राम मे बच्चो को विभिन्न चित्रण एवं गतिविधियों से सिखाने के तरीको को बताया जाता है |
बच्चों को कहानियों, डांस, एवं खेल खेल मे उन्हें नयी नयी चीजों को सिखाया जा सकता है, जो की बच्चों को तनाव रहित एवं आनंद पूर्वक वातावरण प्रदान करता है, वर्तमान परिस्थितियों मे जहाँ बच्चों को घर पर ही रहना पड़ रहा है वहां इस तरह की कार्य शाला उचित मार्ग दर्शन के साथ आयोजित करना हम सभी के लिए वरदान साबित हो रहा है|
स्वाति गुप्ता ,पेरंट ओफ कार्तिशा गुप्ता – 9 वर्ष ,बिलासपुर.
वीकनेक्ट टीम के सदस्यो को प्रणाम। पिछले 18 महिनो से वीकनेक्ट के द्वारा अयोजित डिजिटल जुम पर बहुत ही शानदार प्लेटफॉर्म पर कहानी,चुटकुले ,गीत, डान्स, ड्राइग, क्राफ्ट के साथ बच्चो को स्वर ,व्यंजन एवं शब्दो से वाक्यकैसे बनाना है एवं बच्चो को भविष्य मे आगे बढने का रास्ता दिखाया जा रहा है निरंतर वेबिनार के माध्यम से मिल रहा है।तो हम सल्यूट करते है वीकनेक्ट टीम को जिन्होने हमारे बच्चो के भविष्य को उज्जवल करने की पहल को शुरू किया है । इन्ही शब्दो के साथ जय वीकनेक्टएंड जय वीकनेक्ट फाउंडेशन टीम। मुंबई, नागपुर को मेरा सलाम। धन्यवाद।
दिलीप गोहीते, पेरंट ओफ भारत गोहीते – 9.9 वर्ष, विदर्भ सर्कल.
Hi I am Arpita, my 3.5 yrs. old son, Rudra, has been attending online Music Sessions arranged by the VConnect Foundation team for the last 3 months and I can see remarkable improvement in his speech. His interest has grown in rhymes and songs. Now he doesn’t speak in a monotonous way like earlier. These sessions are very interesting and interactive. Kamakshi ma’am makes use of different props and instruments that makes these sessions more interesting. As these sessions are online kids get a chance to attend it at home during this pandemic situation also.
Arpita Kanzarkar, parent of Rudra Kanzarkar- 3.5 years, Marathwada Circle
Gunjan has benefited a lot from music class, now Gunjan tells me at night, mummy, listen to me songs, like we listen to lullabies to children and make them sleep, so Gunjan loves listening to songs and she says mom Make me repeat the song again and again and when I do repetition, she learns quickly and now she has started singing that song too thank you kamakshi ma’am for this music sessions we benefited a lot.
Khushi Naveen Rati , parent of Gunjan Naveen Rati – 5 years, Bandra – Dahisar Circle
AdvocacyTo advocate the need for an inclusive ecosystem
Universal New Born Hearing Screening
New Born Hearing Screening leads to early detection and inclusion, which is one of the cornerstones of effective inclusion of children with hearing loss. VConnect is collaborating with different stake holders including ENT organisations, institutions, hospitals, and the government to petition and influence policy to make New Born Hearing Screening mandatory in India. Our petition template is uploaded in the Resources section.
Hamare Adhikar / Our Rights
Parents need to be made aware of their rights and the rights of the children. They need to understand various schemes, concessions in education, benefits in taxation that are being provided by the government. ‘Hamare Adhikar / Our Rights is a webinar series that addresses various subjects such as Right to Education (RTE), Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Hearing Aids and Appliances (ADIP) Scheme, Unique Disability ID (UDID) Card, Educational Boards procedures and concessions, Income Tax and Transport benefits. The video links and relevant literature is available in the Resources section.
Myself Sushmita Vijay, my daughter is a Cochlear implantee. The VConnect team comes with webinars regularly and as a parent I feel these webinars are very useful for us. Parents should attend these webinars as we get a lot ofInformation from it which we are not aware of… And we also meet different parents and we open up with them and we get more feedback from them.. This all helps a lot.. Recently, I attended a webinar regarding RTE.. We got a lot of information from this Webinar… It was very useful and helpful for us, only because of the VConnect team we came to know about the RTE.. Thank you so much to the VConnect team for arranging such informative webinars for us…
Sushmita Vijay, parent of Ananya Vijay – 9 years, Thane Kalyan Circle
In 2018 I attended a workshop for Concession and Benefit. Now in the present situation VConnect Foundation is conducting an online workshop under ‘Hamare Adhikar/ Our Rights’ to enable every parent to bebenefited at their doorstep helping them to know more about their adhikar. Attending this workshop I came to know about UDID cardsand it helped understand the procedure for it. A number of parents are taking advantage of RTI which wasnicely explained in this series. I wouldlike to attendmore worship like this. Also, a big thanks to VConnect Foundation for advocating for newborn hearing screening to be mademandatory. This will help early detection of hearing loss in children. Many things can be madepossible through this series thank you VConnect Foundation.
Ayesha Riyaz Khan, parent of Ali Muhammad Riyaz Khan Ghauri- 12 years, Vidarbha Circle
I am grateful to VConnect for organising the UDID program. UDID online webinar organised by VConnect involving special guests from AYJ was a really great program. I think many parents were not aware , I came to know but was not sure about the details . I think I suggested this program to you and was happy to see the program was conducted . I am sure all parents are benefited by this webinar. Both you Ms Jigna and Ms Julie conducted in a very friendly way and clarified doubts of each and every parent. Many of us are not aware about this change from disability certificate to UDID and it’s benefits. We came to know the procedure , the usage , govt guidelines and mainly that the UDID is implemented across India effective July 2021. Thanks to Dr.Rajeev Jalvi – Director AYJ , he was so humble and clarified all queries and even shared his contact no. I think that was a really great gesture on his part.Thank you VConnect and looking forward to such programs in future.I think this series should continue for the awareness of all parents .Maybe you can mention / remind in each program urging participants that they should educate others whosoever they know .Thank you once again .
Prakash Wankhade, parent of Akanksha Wankhade- 12 years,Central Circle