ConnectHear conducts a workshop on sign language

February 21 & 23, 2022: ConnectHear, a social enterprise by IBA alumni, Azima Dhanjee (BBA, Class of 2020), conducted a sign language workshop for BBA and CS students taking Speech Communication (a core course). An award-winning enterprise, ConnectHear has to its name the prestigious Diana Award and P@sha ICT Award as well as a feature in Forbes.

Trainers Aliya Afzal and Mustafa Ali first acquainted students with the terminology and practices pertaining to the communication between hearing and Deaf people. Then they taught them the Pakistani Sign Language (PSL) for greetings, pleasantries, and everyday questions and responses. On the second and last day of the workshop, students presented a scripted performance which consolidated and demonstrated their understanding of the Sign Language.

Promoting inclusion of the Deaf community in Pakistani society, ConnectHear plays the role of an enabler for the Deaf and hearing alike. Their interpretation and training services have benefitted students, employees and leaders across the country. At IBA too, students were visibly moved by the wholesome nature of the training, as it engendered in them an appreciation for the embodied aspects of communication. They also learned about the ethics and etiquettes of interacting with Deaf friends and colleagues, and the appropriate ways in which to normalize such interactions.

Students positive feedback as well as the keen interest of many to intern with ConnectHear, indicated both the successful achievement of this first-time collaboration and its potential of making an even bigger impact when scaled up. This initiative is a further step towards IBA's resolve of promoting inclusivity and diversity at the Institute.