Calling for the Singapore Sign Language to be recognized as the official Sign Language of Singapore

This email was sent to the Straits Times and TODAY ten days ago. So this is assumed that it was rejected after its stipulated period. It was then published here on the blog.

Written by Lily Goh

Singapore has been advocating for inclusion since 1981 when Disabled People’s International held its first world congress and elected Singaporean disability advocate Mr Ron Chandran-Dudley. Since then disability inclusion has been celebrated in the Purple Parade, Purple Symphony, the National Day Parade, as well as the National Council of Social Service’s “See the True Me” campaign.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong even made a commitment towards building an inclusive society in Singapore in his swearing-in speech in 2004. To realize this goal, the Enabling Masterplan was launched in 2007, as the national road map to improve lives of the persons with disabilities. Even, Prime Minister Lee spoke in Singapore Sign Language during his National Day Rally 2016, “Count on me Singapore”.

What does inclusion mean to you? According to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, “inclusiveness speaks to the notion of empowerment and the principle of non-discrimination”and the belief that “no one is left behind”.

In keeping with this spirit, the United Nations declared the International Day of Sign Languages will be celebrated annually across the world. The inaugural celebration was held on Sunday, 23 September 2018, under the theme, “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!”

The Singapore  Association of the Deaf hosted the Singapore Sign Language Week 2018 at the Red Box from 24 September to 29 September. Stories, jokes, poems and dramas by different Deaf people were presented to the public, in the celebration of Singapore Sign Language. It has been advocating for Singapore Sign Language and is a strong, unifying identity for the Deaf community. 

Now, as a Deaf advocate I call for our Singapore Sign Language to be recognized and validated as the official sign language of Singapore. American Sign Language was declared as the official Sign Language of America in the 1960s, and it has opened doors for other countries to follow suit.

I call on your support to strengthen the linguistics landscape in Singapore because it has been ignoring the Deaf communities’ native sign language. It focuses on the mainstream society only, forgetting the Singapore Sign Language that is supposed to be part of it. Singapore Sign Language has been developing for 60 years, compared to Singapore’s 53rd years’ independence.

Once Singapore Sign Language is declared as the official sign language, it will become the official mode of communication used in educational, institutional, translation and state matters involving those who are Deaf.

I believe with the official recognition of Singapore Sign Language, the concept of inclusion will become stronger and better.

(420 words)

 

DISCLAIMER: All opinions expressed herein are thus the personal views of contributing individual authors. They are not indicative of any endorsement, political or otherwise, or lack thereof, either on the part of the organisation.

SgSL Week 2018

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Yesterday was the last day of the SgSL Week 2018, that was organised by the Singapore Association for the Deaf. It hosted this series of events for 6 days, since 24 September 2018. It has presented various jokes, stories, poems and theatrical dramas in #SgSL.

There was a full morning of presentations from four speakers. About education, experiences and linguistics. It was exciting to have the short stories by the students of Lighthouse School for the first time. This was their good avenue where they can showcase their talents. Also, it could help increase their self-confidence. Cheers to those who are behind this children’s showcase!

Then, it was an afternoon when the SgSL instructors from the Singapore Association of the Deaf shared their experiences in different forms. Apart from the SADeaf, Lily Goh had presented her four poems. This reached to the public, as well as the deaf communities.

We hope to be part of the next SgSL Week 2019!

 

International Day of Sign Languages

This month of September is going to be exciting for d/Deaf around the world.

Firstly, we would like to share a bit of information about the World Federation of the Deaf and its international advocacy.

“We are excited to attend a series of events this month to commemorate the first International Day of Sign Languages.

Next week, WFD Vice-President Joseph Murray will be in UN Geneva on the 12th and 13th September 2018 to deliver presentations. English, International Sign and Captioning available via UN Live stream at http://webtv.un.org.

Follow us the entire month to get updates on where we will be to celebrate this day.”

You can watch the presentations on the above-stated link (when you are free).

You can see, many of us have been sharing posts about #SgSL. The Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) posted 15 gifs; one sign for one day, till 15 September 2018. If you wish to learn more about them, you can come down to Toa Payoh HDB Hub Atrium from 11am to 7pm. Or we encourage d/Deaf signers to share different signs that will be posted on its Facebook on the day itself between 12:30pm and 2:30pm. This helps better in documentation for research and development that is necessary to improve our daily lives better. For future generations.

The budding Deaf Singapore Lah has initiated to publish its videos on local and international deaf achievements, as well as sign language videos. This Deaf-led company aspires to share information on food, lifestyle and travel in #SgSL through its media.

Lastly, we’re glad to share our #SgSL short live videos occasionally from this month onwards. We are still at the exploration stage of using live videos. And, we hope you can bear with us. At the same time, we really hope you have fun learning from us together.

Alright, let’s mark 23rd September 2018 to celebrate Sign Languages around the world.

C’mon and keep on signing all the way!

Join this ‪#‎SignItForwardChallenge‬!

Shared this challenge by the Community Chest Singapore in support of Charity in the Park 2017 – a ComChest Signature Event jointly organised with Resorts World at Sentosa – and #SGCares – a national movement to involve and inspire more Singaporeans to help one another.

They set their Sign It Forward Campaign, a sign language activity aimed at equipping the public with key phrases so they may better interact with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Please check this VIDEO out!

 Though we are not part of it, we unanimously support it by posting more videos on our social channels – Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube!

Also, let’s support it by sharing the attached video with its hashtag #‎SIGNITFORWARDCHALLENGE !!  ❤

SPOOKTOBER 2014

Our pleasure to be part of this Spooktober 2014…

SADeaf Terp

KISS OCTOBER 2014   SPOOKTOBER was a success with our good friends, Lisa Loh & the ever-so-spooky-looking Lily Goh, who had kindly spent their time contributing their ideas and executing the one and only, KISS in October! On 31st October 2014, the session started with splitting of participants into two teams, FrankenSign & Zombified. While FrankenSign was led to the dark, dingy AVA room while Zombified stayed in 209 for a movie, Orphan. After FrankenSign completed their mission in the AVA room, the teams switched sessions and it became Zombified’s turn to get spooked.

By the way, here’s a glimpse of the film:

What happened in the AVA Room?

In the AVA room, participants were subjected to a game of Ouija and the room became completely unlit. In such darkness with a few faint light sticks lying around the room, participants were instructed to put on blindfolds and put on headphones (for…

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