FOCUS 3: A National Conference of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Practices held at Father Muller Convention Center – KONKANCATHOLIC.COM

FOCUS 3: A National Conference of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Practices held at Father Muller Convention Center

December 1, 2023

Mangaluru: Experts, panelists, faculty and students dived deep into the world of speech, language pathology and audiology practices via a journey through FOCUS 3, a two-day RCI & UGC-recognized national conference organized by the department of speech & hearing, Father Muller College, which was held in the Father Muller Convention Centre, Mangaluru, for the 1st & 2nd of December 2023.

Attendees gathered at this annual conference to share their knowledge and insights on “Advances in Enhancing the Quality of Life for Individuals with Communication Disorders,” which was the theme of the conferences held.

With a focus on scientific research and case studies, FOCUS 3 aims to explore new approaches that can positively impact those struggling with speech and hearing challenges through the medium of oral and poster presentations.

The inaugural program commenced at 9.45 a.m. with Dr Usha M., Associate Prof FMC, compeering. Students from Father Muller College performed a prayer dance to kick off the conference on an uplifting note. Ms. Cynthia Santhmayor, Principal FMC (Speech and Hearing), took to the stage to address the gathering, followed by the inauguration of the conference with dignitaries lighting the lamp.

One of the highlights of FOCUS 3 was Prof. Akhilesh P. M’s speech as a chief guest. He shared his sentiment by voicing that he was glad to be back home and emphasized how learning is a continuous process that improves the quality of life and the fact that knowledge is power. He shed light on recent advancements in technology that can revolutionize speech perception amidst noise using AI-based acoustic biometric sensors.

The director of Father Muller Charitable Institutions, Rev. Fr Richard A. Coelho, presided over the conference, wherein he expressed his excitement at hosting this annual conference once again. The Director, FMCI, in his presidential address referenced an incident where a group of disabled people scaled the Siachin mountains successfully and also a miracle by Jesus, written in the Bible, on healing a deaf and mute man by saying the words “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”) whilst placing his hands on the man. By this, he implied that no obstacle is insurmountable when it comes to helping those with communication disorders, whether it’s by “opening” new paths where none exist or integrating disabled individuals into society more seamlessly, there is always room for growth and improvement.

Gratitude was expressed by Aju Abraham, organizing secretary, during his vote of thanks towards all attendees, including Rev. Fr. Ajith Menezes (Administrator, FMMC/FMCOAHS/FMCOP), Rev. Fr. George Jeevan Sequeira (Administrator, FMMCH), Rev. Fr. Nelson Dheeraj Pais (Assistant Administrator, FMMCH) and Dr. B. Sanjeev Rai (Chief of Research, FMCI), as well as the sponsors for FOCUS 3, mainly Father Muller Charitable Institutions (FMCI) and others like Electrotech Corporation, Thieme publications, TMC hearing care, Jewel Autism Centre, Canara Bank, HAC, SI Vantos and Auditivo who contributed to making this event possible.

FOCUS 3 provides an opportunity for professionals in the field to come together under one roof, sharing their knowledge and inspiring each other towards creating better futures for those with communication disorders. The technical session was to be held in a 1750-seat state-of-the-art auditorium on the second floor, and the scientific session was to be held in Father Muller Mini Hall on the first floor of the new Father Muller Convention Centre located on the campus of FMCI, Mangaluru.