HOME IN FOCUS: CELEBRATING THEIR ABILITIES

She helps others reach out to the deaf community

MS CHARLENE WONG, 36, Community outreach executive with Touch Community Services

Ms Wong's world is a silent but colourful one. Born deaf, she grew up in a deaf family with hearing grandparents. Her parents and brother are deaf.

She says she had a happy childhood most of the time because there was a lot of support from the family and school.

As a child, she played often with her cousins. Though she did not understand the rules of the games they played, she went along with them, depending on visual cues to learn how they played. Her cousins learnt sign language or used gestures to communicate with her.

Today, she is happily married and has two sons and one daughter, who are 12, seven, and three, respectively. Her husband, Mr Alan Wong, 38, a landscape project manager, is also deaf. They met at a charity concert in primary school and it was love at first sight, though they did not officially start dating until polytechnic. The couple's youngest child is also deaf.

As a community outreach executive with Touch Community Services, Ms Wong mainly plans programmes for clients wanting to reach out to the deaf community, manages volunteers and develops their confidence, and conducts sign language workshops.

She is also the ambassador for the National Council of Social Service's flagship disability awareness campaign, "See the True Me".

Her ideal inclusive society?

HER IDEAL WORLD

A place where people can say greetings in sign language, where people are open to communicate with us... give us the chance to live our dreams and make contributions to society.

MS CHARLENE WONG, on her ideal inclusive society.

"A place where people can say greetings in sign language, where people are open to communicate with us, accept us as a part of their society, offer help, give us the chance to live our dreams and make contributions to society," she explains.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2017, with the headline 'She helps others reach out to the deaf community'. Print Edition | Subscribe