Navjeevan' means new life or new birth.
It is for those infants and children who have a congenital hearing loss (hearing loss since birth) or have acquired hearing loss and as a result if which they were not able to develop adequate speech and language skills.
The aim of the school is to develop speech and language skills in the hard of hearing children and prepare them for integration into mainstream (normal) schools so that they can study as much as they like, as any normal child does and enjoy equal opportunities and ultimately be a part of the mainstream society on equal terms.
A proper development of speech and language skills in hearing impaired children requires multiple steps:
The first step is to identify the presence of hearing loss in infants and children. Usually, if the child is not responding to loud sounds (ex: door closing, rattles, horns) or if the child has a delay in the language development one can suspect a hearing problem. It is important that the child receives a complete hearing assessment to determine the type and degree of hearing loss. Once the degree of hearing loss is determined a proper hearing aid fitting is a must.
After the child is fitted with a hearing aid, it is important that he receives adequate auditory stimulation. This includes speaking and exposing a child to all surrounding environmental sounds including speech.
It is important that the parents contact a special education school which works in the area of speech and language development. A proper selection of school is important as it plays a base for child's speech and language development.
Mostly people think that if the child is hearing impaired he will not be able to hear or speak, and the society labels them 'dumb'. It is important for people to know that language can be learnt only when you hear it. And if the child is unable to hear, he/she is unable to speak. People forget that hearing impairment is an invisible handicap and you cannot see it, and usually people take a long time to realize its presence.
The school enrolls children from 1 year of age up to 6 years. The teaching techniques that are used are quite innovative and based on direct activities. This helps children to effectively understand the concept of using oral language.
The school uses oral - aural method to develop speech and language. Oral - aural method is based on using verbal (speech) and auditory (hearing) mode for developing language and reduces visual cues or in other words lip reading.
The purpose of school is not just integration. The school works for the overall development of the hearing impaired children, help them to grow emotionally and intellectually, to make them self dependent. The achievement of the institution is that it has instigated in the minds of the handicapped children a sense of self respect. In a society where such children are often looked at as "Unfortunate destitute" the children are made to understand that they are no less than others.
Navjeevan was established in the year 1994 and was the first school for the hearing impaired in central India, where the medium of communication is oral language and not sign language. The school not only adopts modern, innovative teaching techniques and equipment, but also very actively involves parents of the children and teachers of normal schools in which the children are integrated. Because of the combined effort, the children of the school who are integrated are no less than their peers in normal schools; in fact some of them are better.
The school also conducts awareness programs periodically in suburban areas and villages. It also conducts orientation program for the teachers of normal schools, provides distant learning to the parents of hearing impaired children and short term demonstration courses.