Blog Archive

Student-athletes score winning marks in IB exams

Kimberly Quek, the winner of the Outstanding Deaf Student (Tertiary Education) Award 2019, scored 40 out of 45 for her International Baccalaureate (IB) results.


“Bowling is like life itself because there will always be things out of my control. What is important is to take things in my stride and keep trying until I succeed, as well as celebrate the little successes such as getting a strike.”
MS KIMBERLY QUEK, on how the sport has taught her resilience, in the face of uncertainties.

Read more:

Also read a short feature on Kimberly on page 6 of our latest signal newsletter:

#HerWorldHerStory: This Artist Doesn’t Let Her Deafness Affect Her Passion For The Arts

Remember the article on “Accessibility needs for a Deaf-friendly show“? Meet the Artist behind the beautiful drawings!

Chen Ziyue was featured in June’s issue of #HerWorldHerStory for her passion for the Arts.

“Growing up was tough because I was often left out of conversations. I was diagnosed with profound hearing loss in both ears when I was two and a half years old. I first studied at Canossian School (then Canossian School for the Hearing Impaired). When I was nine, my late mother transferred me to St. Anthony’s Canossian Primary School. It was a big change going to a mainstream school. But my mum wanted me to learn survival skills that would help me function independently in society.

As a child, art became my “escape” from a confusing world, not being able to understand others, and vice versa. The late American author Helen Keller who was deaf and blind once said blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people.

Drawing and playing with art helped me to forget the frustration of my struggles with verbal communication. It also helped me express my emotions.

“Drawing helped me forget the frustrations of my struggles”

I’ve been a freelance artist-illustrator for mostly children’s books since graduating from Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) in Florida in 2013.

The most recent book I worked on is How Women Won the Vote by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, published by HarperCollins. I now see myself as an equal to others. Living overseas alone made me more independent, and more aware of my identity as a deaf person. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had.

I hope the arts scene and disability inclusiveness will continue to grow…it’s promising to know that someone like me has a fair chance to work on my art. My wish is to work on a book to tell my story… I haven’t been able to finish illustrating my feelings on my mum’s passing but it’s something that I’m working on.”

– Published in Her World’s June issue

Also watch the Deaf “Deaf Entrepreneur – Chen Ziyue”

Deaf Entrepreneur – Chen Ziyue (Deaf Illustrator)

Deaf Entrepreneur – Chen Ziyue (Deaf Illustrator)#sadeafiwd2018 #SignLanguagesDay #IDSL2018 #IWDeaf2018

Posted by The Singapore Association for the Deaf on Monday, 24 September 2018

Don’t Mask your Smile – Masks for a cause

COVID-19 and the Deaf Community

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the wearing of masks an everyday ritual before you leave the house. Wearing of masks can prevent the spread of the virus. What’s more, the wearing and sight of the mask is a symbol of upholding hygienic behaviour such as not touching your face, avoiding crowds and practising social distance.

This norm has presented a new challenge to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community all over the world. Wearing of face masks hides one’s mouth. Although only 30 to 45 percent of the English language can be understood through lip reading, wearing of masks completely removes any visual cues that would be of assistance. For sign language users, morphemes which involve the mouth as their primary articulator are masked as well. As a minority group, the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community laments at the world designed with hearing people in mind.

The Simple Deed

Oliver, his wife and mother sits around the table, sewing transparent mask for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community.

With the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community in mind, Oliver and his family set up The Simple Deed, a ground-up initiative to produce clear masks to benefit the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community.

Conceptualisation & Making

During one of the volunteering sessions with the elderly, Oliver and his wife realised that they had difficulties communicating with the seniors. After doing some research online, he found the solution to making clear masks.

With an old sewing machine and guidance from Oliver’s mother, the family embarked on the project despite him and his wife having no experience in masking masks.

Watch Oliver’s interview with UFM 100.3. Click Here for transcript and translation. Transcripts by volunteers – Odelia Goh, Teo Hwee Chuan, Ho Tsin Yi Ysabelle. Translation by volunteer, Jonathan Lim.

The project has since been a success – volunteers and organisations have donated materials and time to support the cause. More than 150 masks have been donated to SADeaf and now being distributed to family members of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing clients as well as staff working with the community.

Oliver has started also started the Don’t Mask Your Smile – Masks for A Cause to raise funds to support SADeaf and our mask distribution efforts.

If you wish to support the cause, drop them a message on their Facebook Page or simply make a donation!

Tips to Prevent the Clear Mask from Fogging Up

Here is a tip for preventing your clear mask from fogging up. If you have tried any other methods, do share them with…

Posted by The Simple Deed on Sunday, 28 June 2020

Dumpling Festival 2020

25 June 2020 – The Dumpling Festival (also known as Dragon Boat Festival or 端午节 “Duan Wu Jie”) is traditionally celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

Image Source

The best-known legend of the celebration, is the commemoration of 屈原 “Qu Yuan”, a third-century poet and patriotic statesman during China’s Warring States period (475-221 BC). Qu Yuan committed suicide in Miluo River when the war was lost. Loved and respected by the people, the locals paddled their boats up and down the river, hitting the water with their paddles and beating drums to scare evil spirits away. They also threw lumps of rice into the river to feed the fish so that they would not eat Qu Yuan’s body.

In Singapore, the Dumpling Festival is of course, all about the food. Do a quick search on the internet about the Dumpling Festival in Singapore and you will find listicles of the best Rice Dumplings to savour in Singapore.

In order to bring the food and this festive cheer to the Deaf community, Social Group of the Deaf (SGD) came up with a simple Facebook game to engage with the community.

Spot 5 differences! Answers revealed below.

Participants were asked to submit the answers via Facebook Messenger and the top three winners were awarded Rice Dumplings from the famous Kim Choo (Joo Chiat) stall.

Here are the winners!

1st Prize is Carol Tan | 2nd Prize is Ee Wun | 3rd prize is Hui Keng.

The prizes were presented by Ms Tay Lay Hong, SGD committee member, on behalf of Ms Amy Ho, Chairperson of SGD.

To all participants, the SGD Committee would like to say a big thank you! Although we are unable to celebrate this festive occasion together due to the COVID-19 situation, we hope this mini-game brought you joy while staying at home. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more games and activities!

Missing the Smile Behind the Masks

Mask wearing and safe distancing is the new norm against COVID-19. Deaf Individuals who depend on lip-reading are presented with an additional challenge in their daily lives. Our current media and information channels are also unable to effectively provide first-hand information to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community. Tan Wei Ling, born deaf, has the support of her family and colleagues. She appreciates the warm smile not hidden by the masks.

I asked on an online chat, “Hello! Do you prefer typing or speaking?”

Tan Wei Ling smiled and waved from the screen. She replied in Sign Language, “Either is fine!”

Tan Wei Ling, 30 years old, is born deaf. She wears hearing aids to enable her to hear sounds. Wei Ling cheerfully narrated, “In the beginning, my parents thought that I was stubborn and disobedient. But even after my mother found that I had hearing loss, when I was two, she still thought I was a stubborn daughter.”

Hearing loss did not prevent Wei Ling from leading an active life. She enjoys interacting with people from all walks of life and is determined to constantly challenge herself. Once during an overseas community involvement programme in Sri Lanka, she performed song-signing on stage. She said, “Being born deaf is not a label that I am ‘unable to do anything’. Just like the waves of an ocean, there are ups and downs in our lives that help us to grow. I may be Deaf but I am not disabled; as long as I am willing, I can still contribute to society.”

Tan Wei Ling works as a Lifeskills Coach. During the Circuit Breaker, she continued teaching her trainees with intellectual disability using online video conferencing software. However, online learning is different from classroom learning. It was difficult to supervise the trainees’ work or progress and she could only do so when they return to the centre. “During this period, work meetings have transited online. When the network is unstable, speech becomes unclear. But if o­ther party could speak slower, I can lip-read to better figure what they are saying.

𝐔𝐧𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐢𝐩-𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤𝐬

Though the hearing aid helps to pick up sounds, Wei Ling communicates with others through observing their mouth movement and facial expression, a practice she adopted from young. As masks are now mandatory, she is unable to read lips which have led to communication breakdowns. Nowadays, she would type down her food order and show it to the stall owner when ordering food. As she is not well-versed in Chinese, she would point on the menu or pictures when ordering from a Chinese-speaking stall owner. She lamented, “Sometimes stall owners don’t understand my order. But not waste the time of stall owner’s time, I would just agree to whatever they say. Once, I ordered Beehoon only to find out that it was Meepok when I reached home.”

Wei Ling believes that most stall owners are patient towards the deaf. However, there are exceptions. She recalls a negative experience where her friend was refused a coffee order when the order was placed using sign language. Her friend insisted on the order until the stall owner relented. If not for his or her persistence, he or she would not have been able to get the coffee. “Individuals with visual impairment and hearing loss do receive differential treatments.”

When asked if she had been mocked by a passer-by, Tan Wei Ling replied, “I don’t know, because I can’t hear them. Even when my friends inform me of the ugly comments made, I wouldn’t take them to heart. After all, I won’t meet the person again, why bother?”

There were times where Wei Ling felt lost while growing up. During her secondary school days, she felt inferior and disgruntled. When she advanced from Canossian School to St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School, her class size increased from 10 to 40 students. There were more students and the pace of learning increased. The pressure to adapt to the new environment caused Wei Ling to compare herself with her hearing peers. She felt unfair that she was deaf.

She recalled, “I once blamed my mother for giving birth to me. Back then, I only knew English there while my mother only knew Chinese. The language barrier was a cause of frequent conflict and friction. Sometimes, we would end up ignoring each other for a few weeks”.

Wei Ling later picked up Chinese, while her mother started learning English. They started to understand each other better and embarked on a journey of lifelong learning.

Family is an important support pillar for Wei Ling. A memorable incident was when her brother spoke at his wedding last year. “When I was a kid, I prayed to God to let me take my sister’s place. That I would be deaf instead of her. Now, I realise that God is fair. My sister lost her hearing but she has a heart bigger than others. Wei Ling, your brother will forever love you and protect you.”

Tan Wei Ling said, “My brother backs me up and constantly encourages me. Now remembering his words I still feel touched.” Wei Ling’s brother had his own place after his marriage and would visit her family every Sunday. During the circuit breaker, family members from different households were restricted from visiting each other. Something was missing without the brother’s presence. On the other hand, working from home had allowed her to spend more time with her parents, “Before, I rarely have the opportunity to spend time with my parents like this.”

𝐃𝐞𝐚𝐟 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐮𝐩𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬

Wei Ling is an avid traveller who enjoys savouring local delicacies and sights. Her plans to travel to Dubai and Japan this year was cancelled due to the pandemic. She said, “Initially I was disappointed, but come to think of it, I see this as an opportunity to save for future travels when the pandemic has passed!” Since the COVID-19 situation, Tan Wei Ling gets first-hand updates from reading news articles and watching sign language videos posted on “Equal Dreams” Facebook page. Like many other deaf individuals, they agree that live broadcast of the government budget and updates by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on COVID-19 are good, but this information remains inaccessible to the deaf.

She said, “Relevant agencies can consider including sign language interpretation or notetaking in order to increase the accessibility of these broadcasts. This will allow Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals to be timely informed of the latest updates.

When the circuit breaker measures are lifted, Wei Ling will to her workplace. Mask wearing is necessary and her thoughtful colleagues are exploring to wear transparent masks to enable her to lip-read.

Wei Ling said, “What is miss most, is the uncovered smiles. I hope everyone can unite to overcome the challenge, and the world needs no longer be consumed by this pandemic.”

Translated by SADeaf Staff Joan Peh & Teo Zhi Xiong

Live National Speech: With Sign Language Interpretation & Notetaking

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is scheduled to address the country at 4pm on June 23.

Live Sign Language interpretation & notetaking will be provided by SADeaf on:

Notetaking-only feed (ie. text-only feed for deafblind, blind-deaf and others):

Live Broadcast – PM Lee's Live Address

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is scheduled to address the country at 4pm on June 23.Live Sign Language interpretation & notetaking will be provided by SADeaf on: feed (ie. text-only feed for deafblind, blind-deaf and others):

Posted by The Singapore Association for the Deaf on Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Securing Singapore’s future in a post-COVID-19 world (With Sign Language Interpretation & Subtitles)

With the Fortitude Budget on 26 May 2020, the Singapore Government has committed almost $100 billion to support workers and businesses to fight against COVID-19. But the longer-term economic challenges remain formidable. COVID-19 has severely disrupted the global economy. Singapore must respond quickly to these global shifts and prepare for the difficult times ahead. 

From 7 to 20 June 2020, PM Lee Hsien Loong, DPM Heng Swee Keat, SM Teo Chee Hean, SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister Chan Chun Sing and Minister Lawrence Wong will deliver a series of national broadcasts. They will explain what a post-COVID-19 future looks like for Singapore, and lay out plans to see us through the storm and emerge stronger.

If you have missed the broadcasts – Watch it here!

Overcoming the Crisis of a Generation
Speaker: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Date of broadcast: 7 June 2020
Interpreted by: Zach

Living with COVID-19
Speaker: Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong
Interpreted by: Shimei
Date of broadcast: 9 June 2020

Resilience in a Changing External Environment
Speaker: Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean
Interpreted by: Zach
Date of broadcast: 11 June 2020

Making a Living in a COVID-19 World
Speaker: Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing
Interpreted by: Zach
Date of broadcast: 14 June 2020

A Stronger and More Cohesive Society
Speaker: Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Interpreted by: Amirah
Date of broadcast: 17 June 2020

Emerging Stronger Together
Speaker: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat
Interpreted by: Amirah
Date of broadcast: 20 June 2020

SADeaf Fundraising Virtual Challenge

SADeaf Virtual Challenge 

The SADeaf Fundraising Virtual Challenge is an online fundraising event that aims to encourage individuals to stay fit and healthy during the COVID-19 period. This event is jointly organised by The Singapore Association for the Deaf and Inaudible Moments – a group of students under the Citibank-YMCA Youth For Causes Project.

You can participate in the 30-day SADeaf Virtual Challange from any location, any time during the open event date. Track your exercise regime by using the Keep app continuously for 30 days, at the comfort of your home and time. No more waiting in lines at the gym, just grab your friends, family and start your fitness journey!

Let’s stay healthy and support SADeaf by helping us raise funds for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and Deaf-blind community during this difficult time!

Step 1: Join us! 

Register: Individual Adult (Early Bird – Minimum donation of $20)

Early Bird Rate will be applicable till 31 July 2020, 23:59 hrs, Singapore Time. For registrations received thereafter, a minimum donation of $25/pax is required. In order to benefit from the Early Bird Rate, the donation must be received on or before 31 July 2020.

Register: Individual Student (Early Bird – Minimum donation of $10)

Discounted student rates are valid to students currently enrolled in Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Vocational education.  Proof of student status is not required. However, we reserve the right to refuse and cancel your registration if you do not produce documentary proof or if you do not meet the criteria for ‘student’ status when requested.

Early Bird Rate will be applicable till 31 July 2020, 23:59 hrs Singapore Time. For registrations received thereafter, a minimum donation of $15/pax will apply. In order to qualify for this rate, payment must be received on or before 31 July 2020.

Step 2: Make a Donation 

Upon completion of your online registration, a donation link will be sent to the email address provided on the registration form. 

Please ensure that the email account used for the donation account and online registration is the same. Registrations are only confirmed once the minimum donation has been received and when the online registration and donation email is matched. All donations referred to are in Singapore Dollar. All donations are non-refundable 

Step 3: Let’s go!

Download: Play Store | Apps Store 

Download Keep and start the 30-day journey! Go to ‘Workouts’ and select a workout that suits your physical condition and follow the daily targets. 

Participants can use workout videos from application Keep as a guideline and record their workout history in the website accounts to calculate the number of calories burnt. 

Keep K1 & K2 (beginners and people who sometimes exercise)

i) at least 15 minutes/day

ii) at least 30 minutes/day

K3 & K4 (people who do exercise on a regular basis or experts)

i) at least 20 mins/day

ii) at least 40 minutes/day

Step 4: Keep it up & share with us! 

Create an account with us here and post your workouts. You can do it on a daily, weekly, or at the end of the 30 day challenge. Participants who wish to further challenge themselves after 30-days may do so by re-posting your workout results in the members area. 

You can also share your workout achievements with us by posting them on Instagram with #imkeepingfit to encourage one another along the way!

Step 5: Time to Celebrate!

Get your rewards:

-a gut shredded
-a heart fulfilled
-a prize especially for you 

Upon verification of the 30-day challenge, participants will receive a special WhatsApp sticker pad and/or a Facebook frame concerning profile picture upon completion of the challenge. The design will be done by Inaudible Moments.

Other prizes to be advised.

Heroes Unmasked: Volunteers sew see-through masks for teachers of deaf students

The Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) would like to thank all the volunteers who had responded to the call by SG Enable by producing masks to schools for teachers and staff members working with the Deaf community. A big ‘Thank You’ for spreading kindness and compassion during this difficult period.

Read more here

Facebook Live Chat with Minister Grace Fu

Join Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu and SportsSG at a Facebook live chat today on 30 May at 8pm to discuss how the government can better support the sports sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out how the recent injection of $10 million, announced during the recent Fortitude Budget on 26 May, can help boost the sports sector.

SADeaf will be providing live sign language interpretation and notetaking for the live chat.

SADeaf Terp Sign Language Interpretation:

SADeaf Notetaking Notetaking-only feed (ie. text-only feed for deafblind, blind-deaf and others) will be on a separate document here:

Sustaining Singapore's arts, culture and sports sectors through COVID-19

Join Minister Grace Fu this Sunday, 12 April at 9pm on her Facebook page for a Live chat. SADeaf will be providing live sign language interpretation and notetaking.

Posted by The Singapore Association for the Deaf on Sunday, 12 April 2020