Startup by India’s 1st Deaf Woman Entrepreneur wins applause at Huddle Kerala…The crowd roared as Theertha’s name was called out. But she did not know what was happening….“I have a dream,” she communicated with the audience in sign language.Theertha Nirmal spoke to an enamoured audience. “I have a dream. My aim is to educate and empower the deaf community through innovative technology,” she said.In the ‘Huddle Kerala’ startup conclave in Kovalam over the weekend,

The hearing-impaired woman entrepreneur who wowed the audience at ‘Huddle Kerala’ conclave,Theertha, co-founder of the startup ‘Sign NEXT’, wants to talk and communicate more effectively to the deaf people across the country and make them part of the mainstream conversation.Even though Theertha went to a sign language school in the state, most of the teaching was through verbal communication and object identification. She said she especially struggled with English words as the teachers were not well equipped. It was after she completed her schooling and came to join the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) in Thiruvananthapuram for a B.Sc Computer Science course that she was able to hone her sign language skills. Through her husband, who’s also deaf, she came in contact with Kingsley David, who had experience working with hearing-impaired people at his firm in Technopark in the state capital. Now, together with Kingsley and a few others, Theertha has embarked on her journey of an entrepreneur, working patiently to understand the nitty-gritties of technology and making it practically usable for many from her community.

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