Forum: Big strides made to accommodate deaf, hard-of-hearing community

The Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) appreciates Forum writer Pavarne Shantti Sivalingam raising the issue of accessibility to information for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community (Campaigning must account for those with hearing loss, July 6).

We have made big strides towards greater access in recent years, from the 2015 General Election when political parties first engaged SADeaf's sign language interpreters for rallies, to the provision of sign language interpretation for annual Budget speeches streamed online, as well as for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's May Day speech this year.

In fact, this year's May Day speech marked the first time a sign language interpreter appeared on a live national television broadcast in Singapore. This was a momentous occasion for our community.

It also served as a glowing testimony to the quality and professionalism of our sign language interpreters, who also undertake assignments in various corporate, medical and legal settings.

SADeaf is grateful to the Ministry of Communications and Information, Ministry of Family and Social Development as well as Mediacorp and other partners for making this a reality.

We heartily welcome these developments and hope to see further progress, such as more widespread provision of sign language interpretation and captioning/subtitling on national broadcast and online media.

On our continuing journey towards an inclusive society, SADeaf is ready to work with the authorities and other interested parties on closing these gaps.

Alvan Yap

Deputy Director

Singapore Association for the Deaf