An Experience Sharing on Volunteering in the Programme
After working as volunteers at the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies of the Chinese University in Hong Kong for 3 months in 2012, we learnt and were able to communicate in Hong Kong Sign Language. Besides, we were privileged to have the opportunity to work with different scholars and colleagues in the Centre. We were so grateful that our participation had built consensus and friendship among us.
Through the participation in research work, we learnt more about the misunderstandings towards Deaf Culture as well as the difficulties that deaf individuals face in society. Deaf students often encounter difficulties in their learning. For example, there is only verbal instructions without sign language as an assistive learning tool in mainstream schools. This will always add burden to deaf students in comprehending instructions of teachers in the classroom. If they only rely on lip-reading, their difficulties in verbal communication, writing and grammatical comprehension will increase.
It is worth to mention that we had a tremendously enriching experience of inclusive education through assisting the teachers and conducting observations in both Kowloon Bay St. John The Baptist Catholic Primary School and Peace Evangelical Centre Kindergarten (Ngau Tau Kok). It was really encouraging to witness the increment of verbal and sign language expression and cognitive skills of the deaf students.
We were glad to see that the kindergarten and primary school worked as partners and incorporated both verbal and sign languages as an inclusive teaching method, which not only enhance the learning of deaf students, but also allowed them to learn in the same classroom with other hearing students naturally. Such practice demonstrated the notion of inclusive education. In addition, we also saw the harmonious school lives of deaf and hearing students, in which they learn and grow joyfully together without discrimination and boundaries.
No matter what kind of voluntary work, learning opportunities or career we might have in the future, such precious experiences have become the foundation to support our practice in inclusive education. We sincerely thank all the colleagues and staff at the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies for giving us such an unique learning opportunity. We hope to see you all again during the summer in 2013.
Programme Volunteers Johnson & Helen
Love is more than a feeling, it is enjoyable.
Jockey Club Sign Bilingualism & Co-enrolment in Deaf Deucation Programme made me really feel and enjoyed love. Every time when I saw deaf children playing with their classmates on campus, their laughter acknowledged me of the harmonious school life.
I was deeply touched as they were encoraging and supporting each other in class.
In the teacher's room, Sign Language teachers, CUHK colleagues and teachers from my school were racking their brains to design classes with tears and sweats. Yet they were still trying very hard to support their convictions. That was love. There were many challenges and difficulties within the progress. Yet I enjoyed it very much because of love.
Are you willing to enjoy this together with me?
Ms Ng, Vice Principal, Kowloon Bay St. John the Baptist Catholic Primary School
How Sign Language facilitates cognitive development of hearing impaired babies
My child joined the Baby Signing Class because of his congenital hearing problem. As my child also got other developmental problems (like a lack of concentration and character imitation), and we were not familiarized with Sign Language application, the learning progress was not completely ideal. Although Sign Language cannot overtly facilitate my child's cognitive development in the meantime, we acknowledge the importance of attending classes and relevant activities. Besides offering an opportunity of language learning, we can also learn more about the growing experience of deaf adults as well as their lives to prepare for my child's future growth.
Reading Programme, Shek's parent
How Sign Language facilitates learning for hearing-impaired children
Five years ago, we felt it hard to accept that fact that our daughter was hearing-iimpaired, but we had to accept it. As my child was profoundly deaf, all we could do was to wait for surgery. Yet even two years after the surgery, my child could only hear above 50dB. Most of the time she would rely on lip-reading as she could not hear clearly even with the cochlear implant. We were disappointed at that time as we had no idea how to communicate with her. That was when we knew about the 'Jockey Club Sign Bilingualism and Co-enrolmment in Deaf Education Programme', but we still had doubts about Sign Language and falsely believed that our daughter would not speak once she learnt Sign Language. After two to three months of learning Sign Language, we discovered that it was actually good and effective. Before, we could not even distinguish whether our child was saying 'Mama' or 'Papa', but now she can use Sign Language to communicate when she is not wearing hearing aids. That is why we think that after 1 year of learning Sign Language, it is a helopful medium for communication.
Baby Signing Class, Yip's parent
Sharing about the contents and learning results under "Individualized Educational Plan"
One month has passed, my child and I were both looking forward to receive new story books from her teacher. My child enjoyed the Sign Language story books very much. Through this learning mode and the courses specifically tailored for her, she was able to learn with ease and happiness. In every individual meeting with the teachers, we shared her learning situation in class and at home. The teachers would pass on some teaching techniques so that I could also be a teacher at home. In this Programme, teachers, parents and students are working as partners. It is effective only if we collaborate with joint efforts. As the saying goes, 'The more we cultivate, the more we reap'. I anticipate that the ability in listening, reading, writing, and comprehension of the deaf participants in the Progeramme will be enhanced through the patient guidance of the teachers, and they will develop well in both body and mind.
Kindergarten Progarmme, Or's parent