Most of us would probably also have experienced an ear block at least once in our lifetime. The sense of relief when it “pops” is especially sensational! Yet there is a community for whom the sense of hearing has never been fully functional.
There are varying degrees when it comes to loss of hearing, and some may experience it partially, in one ear or both. It affects people of all ages, and can occur at any point in time. While genetics is one of the many causes of hearing loss, some other factors include prolonged exposure to loud noises and accidents.
To find out more about hearing loss in Singapore, you may visit The Singapore Association for the Deaf.
Have you ever been curious about how children with hearing loss are integrated into our regular education programme?
With the help of technology, hearing aids and implants have enabled most students with mild hearing loss and who are able to communicate orally in mainstream schools. For children with more severe cases of hearing loss and communicate with Sign Language, they have the option also to partake in mainstream education in the designated schools: Mayflower Primary School and Beatty Secondary School. These schools are equipped with more specialised support, including having a specialised teacher alongside the subject teacher in each class to assist with the seamless continuum of learning alongside their peers. They also have more infrastructure and emotional supports in place to ensure that these students with hearing loss are not excluded.
The benefit of allowing children with hearing loss to learn alongside mainstream students goes both ways. It helps children with hearing loss understand social cues better, and on the other side, other children also learn about the values of inclusivity and helping to create an environment that is accessible for more.
To find out more about the educational support systems in place in the designated schools, you may visit their school website.
Sign Language in Singapore: SgSL
Sign Language is diverse and there are many variations of Sign Language that are adopted in different communities. In Singapore, the Deaf Community uses SgSL: Singapore Sign Language, which encompasses some of the unique Singapore phrases. What is also interesting is that SgSL has its own grammar and linguistic structure that does not relate to other languages.
There are various courses that teach SgSL, and the designated schools also offer enrichment programmes for all students to learn SgSL.
Do you think that SgSL can/will be offered as an official third language elective in Singapore?
While we ponder that, here are some basic phrases from SgSL you can learn with us!