I have grown up in the perception that to speak, is to talk. I never saw it any other way. But as I grew older, I realised that there was so much more than mere noise coming out your mouths. The movement of your hands will form signs that connects you to another. It amazed me to how there was no limitations unless you limit yourself.
I have never really interacted with the deaf community or thought much of them before. But ever since learning sign language, I have been intrigued by their way of lives. I realise how much we take our ability to hear lightly. Can you imagine not hearing music? The laughter of your child? The ringing of the joyful bells in your worship place?
Many are not as gifted as we are. But still they are able to persevere and pull through. They even excel well above others in areas where the ability to hear is usually crucial. Deaf dragons is a initiative run by a upcoming social enterprise called “Society Staples”. The idea of Deaf Dragons was simple but complicated. It was a dragon boating team which consists of people with hearing impairment and intellectually disabled people. For those who knows dragon boating, it is heavily dependant on hearing part. But in just 4 months of forming the team, they were already on their path to championship such as Club Crew World Championships in Hong Kong.
I find it intriguing on how people can perform way above people’s perception. They are also able to connect on a unique level with sports as their medium of breaking barriers. Sports comes hand in hand for the quote “speaking without words”. If you are able to communicate without words, it just proves that you guys are on a different level of understanding. Deaf Dragons ceased this opportunity to achieve their new found aim. “To bridge the gap between the hearing and hearing impaired.” was their mission (Goy, 2015).
They started team building workshops where some involved dragon boating. The team building activities of such Dragon boating is led by deaf instructors. This enables the participant with the chance to learn simple signing as well. They have really used to their advantage to try and bridge the gap.
The hearing impaired community is something that is not talked much about in Singapore. There is a obvious gap that many don’t bother to bridge due to the communication barrier. We should work towards a more inclusive society that Society Staple wants as well. We should bother to go out of our way to help them.
To make a more inclusive Singapore, we must be more sensitive to their needs. They can’t hear us, but we must make them feel that we can hear their thoughts and feeling. They shouldn’t be outcast because of something most of them had no control over.
Goy, P. (2015, 31 March ). Deaf dragon boat trainers roped in to lead exercises in team-building. Straits Times. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/deaf-dragon-boat-trainers-roped-in-to-lead-exercises-in-team-building
Tai, J. (2012, 13 December). Deaf team wins dragon boat race. Straits Times . Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/deaf-team-wins-dragon-boat-race