Madras Photo Bloggers presents a photography course for the hearing impaired where most of the instruction will be in sign language
“A Quiet Way to Learn” is how Srivatsan Sankaran, travel photographer and founder of Madras Photo Bloggers (MPB), describes their photography course for the hearing impaired.
Srivatsan, who has organized several workshops for the hearing community, believes hard of hearing rely heavily on “hands-on understandings.” Most photographic resources, he points out, are in English, which can be problematic.
“If communication is difficult, they don’t feel encouraged to read,” he adds. This is why he imagined, with documentary photographer Ayyalu R Kumaran, also from MPB, a sign language course with Ravi Shankar Y, an interpreter.
Facilitators will communicate through sign language, using body language, facial expression and hands-on teaching methods. “Kumaran and I believe in listening,” Srivatsan says. “We will first listen to participants to understand their level of knowledge before we start teaching.” He explains that they plan to keep small batches, consisting of eight to 10 people.
The three-month course will not only teach photography, but will also try to instill confidence in the participants. “The attitude towards challenges needs to be changed and so we will slowly introduce optimistic thinking,” he said, adding that they hope to train participants to overcome obstacles.
Speaking of challenges, Srivatsan also faced a lot of them. A hard of hearing himself, he says that initially as a photographer he sometimes felt frustrated and angry, “which never led to any solution.”
“Challenges emerge in various forms: communication, trust, understanding and listening, because all of these play a crucial role in information processing,” he says. The 30-year-old realized this after his experiences teaching photography, solo travel photography expeditions, interacting with clients, organizing events, leading his team and communication by phone.
“Over the years of training my mind, I am able to meet all the challenges that I encounter in my professional and personal life,” he says. Ultimately, that’s what he and Kumaran hope to teach.
The three-month course is online and begins October 2. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekend. The course fee is 5,000. A camera will be provided if participants do not have one.
To register, send a message to 8056267058, send an email to email@example.com.