16th July, 2012
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Society for the Deaf (SSD) not only provides education for the hearing impaired but also sign language classes for the public to enable hearing society to communicate well with the deaf and understand them better.
The society through its education centre conducts programmes for the hearing impaired from early age to adulthood in all its branches in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Keningau, Kudat and Lahad Datu.
These centres provide pre-school or kindergarten education, Adult Vocational Training, Youth and Teen Development Programmes, Interpreting Services, Deaf Awareness Programmes, General Welfare of the Deaf, Job Coaching and Public Sign Language courses.
For its efforts, the society received praise from Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs, Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.
In her speech at the SSD Open House and Family Food Carnival cum Funfair yesterday, Azizah said the preliminary education that the society provided had achieved the objectives of early childhood intervention and early childhood education.
“This is not only important for normal children but of utmost importance for handicapped children. With this early age intervention programme, it has been proven that many disabilities can actually be rectified or improved.
“As such, I wish to urge all the parents especially those with handicapped children, in whatever form, to understand fully the importance of early childhood intervention and early childhood education,” she said.
Azizah pointed out that the education centre set up by SSD served as a platform for deaf children in their future and assisted them to communicate better especially with their parents using the formal sign language.
“The various practical living skills and good moral values that the teachers impart to these children are also very important for their future,” she added.
Other than young children, teenagers with hearing impairment can take part in the Youth and Teen Development Programmes which offers vocational training, leadership training, and awareness on health, personal safety, sports as well as indoor and outdoor recreational activities.
Azizah commended SSD for having played a key role in helping the deaf for many years in its capacity as a non-government organisation and noted that yesterday’s event was organised by its alumni association.
Her speech was read by Jornah Mozihim, Political Secretary to the Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs at the SSD premises in Jalan Khidmat, Bukit Padang.
Also present at the function were Philip Koh of the Rotary Club, Regina Wong, principal of the Sabah Society for The Deaf Education Center, Joelle Wong, chairperson of the SSD Alumni Association and Thien Kah Soon, organising chairman.