EL TRANSLATION: Two “assistants” are required for each class. Deaf social entrepreneur obtained a degree at the age of 41.

Released on 4 May 2021 at 4:48pm
Article written by: Pan Xiaojun

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Lily Goh is in a black graduation gown, and she wears a graduation hat. She has three parrots; a Lutino (pure yellow) Cockatiel on her left shoulder, a Sun Conure on her left hand, and a green Indian Ring-Necked parakeet on her right hand. Taken at a beach.
CAPTION: Lily Goh is the only deaf person in the 2020 graduate of the Department of Sociology and Communication of the School Humanities and Behavioural Sciences of Singapore University of Social Sciences.
IMAGE: Isabelle Lim (issyshoots), Deaf Professional Photographer

Deaf since childhood, the social entrepreneur decided to enrol in a university to better understand deaf studies, taking two “assistants” with her to every class, and finally obtained her first university degree at the age of 41.

Discovered to be deaf at the age of two, Lily Goh has dedicated herself to promoting deaf culture over the years, and ExtraOrdinary Horizons, the social enterprise was set up in 2011 to help deaf people better integrate into mainstream society.

In an email interview with 8 World News, she noted that she was interested in learning more about Deaf studies, which is very much a part of sociology, and decided to enrol in Sociology with Communication program in the School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences in Singapore University of Social Sciences. She is also the only deaf person to have graduated from this course in the past.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Lily Goh sits on a bench, wearing the graduation gown and hat.
IMAGE: Isabelle Lim (issyshoots), Deaf Professional Photographer

SUBTITLE: The class needs to be accompanied by an interpreter and a notetaker.

As a life member of the Singapore Association for the Deaf, Lily Goh is always accompanied by an interpreter and notetaker arranged by the Association whenever she attends classes. They mean a lot to her, especially when it comes to sign language interpretation.

“They incorporate the beliefs, values, and lifestyles of deaf people into the interpreting process so that I can understand better. Due to my deafness and the world I live in, I am not exposed to most things related to mainstreamed society.”

As most of her classmates are unaware of her condition, she also explains why she needs an interpreter and notetaker.

In addition, Lily Goh is grateful to three other tutors who are very patient with her. “One of them knew sign language, but she was not very proficient and could not communicate with me smoothly. She took a lot of effort to explain to me the requirements of each essay so that I could (make my essays and assignments) better.”

Two other tutors had also stayed after class to help her with her tutorials.

SUBTITLE: New World, New Experience

Lily Goh admits that navigating between work and campus has not been easy on an emotional and financial level. She describes sociology as being closer to the auditory (hearing) world, which is almost completely different from what she has experienced in life.

“Sociology has been really eye-opening and has helped me to better understand the world of mainstream societies around the world, as well as my own (deaf) world.”

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: On the grey background of the ExtraOrdinary Horizons logo, Lily performs (signs) her music.
CAPTION: Lily Goh promotes deaf culture through music and sign language.
IMAGE: Instagram/lilygoh.artsmusic

In terms of inclusivity for deaf and disabled people in the country, she believes that progress is still slow. “Not many people are willing to accept deaf people and give us a chance. They have a psychological fear of working with deaf people, especially when it comes to communication.”

She believes that what she learns through this course will help improve the way she advocates and allow her to present her views better.

SOURCE: https://www.8world.com/news/singapore/article/suss-graduate-with-hearing-impaired-1466551


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s