Just wanted to share that Irene and I graduated from the SADEAF – SEE2 sign language basic sign class on Thursday. I managed a respectable 92% while Irene got 100% in her test!
It was a good experience and we met some really cool people in our class. Shout out to our BS1 Thursday classmates, thank you for making it such fun and teacher Yam for providing us the tools to learn this language well. While we won’t be continuing as we feel it was a strain to find the time to practise, I’m glad that we at least have the basics now. I am also keen to explore if there are any ways we can help contribute to the Deaf community in Singapore.
From our final class on Thursday, I found that while Singapore signed and ratified the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), support made available to the Deaf community is still lagging far behind other countries. For example, we still do not have sign language support on live telecasts such as the National Day Rally or Budget Announcements. On top of that, closed captions are not always readily available either.
One of the goals that SADEAF has is to make SgSL (Singapore Sign Language) the 5th language of Singapore. Part of the process is for them to collect all the localised signs that the community has been using via town hall meetings that they are conducting. The information and signs collected will then be collated into a SgSL dictionary. I think this is a great initiative and a very important step towards better support and equality for the Deaf community. So if anyone knows anyone who is Deaf and can contribute to this dictionary, please try to encourage them to attend the town halls. Information can be found here.