A World of Touch: DeafBlind Training with Anne Sullivan Foundation

From 17 January to 14 February 2023, SADeaf’s Community Service (CS) team partnered Ireland’s Anne Sullivan Foundation to conduct a course for staff, external partners and community volunteers on Deafblindness.

The course “A World of Touch” was organised by the Deafblind programme under CS and featured invited Deafblind specialists Deirdre Leech and Sorcha Nallen from the Anne Sullivan Foundation.

Session 1: Held on 17 Jan 2023, it was our largest turnout with more than 50 participants, including staff, external partners and community volunteers!

Conducted over Zoom, participants gained much knowledge and insights about Deafblindness over three sessions. Topics went in depth on the spectrum of Deafblindness, the challenges one faces with the condition, and the various ways to overcome them. We had a wonderful turnout for all three training dates, with participants actively and meaningfully engaged throughout.

We also received wonderful feedback from participants. One commented, “I would like to register my thanks to both Deirdre and Sorcha as well as the coordinating team at SADeaf for the enriching course. Despite the early timing for the Ireland-based trainers, they did it without hesitation; three cheers!”

Another participant added, “The workshop is really interesting, especially the communication part and social haptic communication. It is really eye-opening. Hope to have more workshop training in future!”

SADeaf is grateful to Deirdre and Sorcha for their efforts, and we look forward to staying in touch.

Last session on 14 Feb 2023: Love is all around..

Text and screenshots by: Angeles Kiara Luna, CS

SgSL Workshop for Families: Bond & communicate through sign!

This workshop, offered by Deaf Studies department, is for families with children aged 1 to 12. It includes interactive activities that teach numbers and basic vocabulary. A “no-voice” teaching method is used to reinforce the learning experience in this Deaf world. Parents have a chance to discuss and exchange ideas during the workshop. By the end of the workshop, families will be able to pick up vocabulary words they’ve learned.

This edition of the family-based workshop was held on December 17th, 2022 at SADeaf Hall from 10am to 12 noon. For some families, it was their first exposure to the Deaf world. One of the children in attendance is deaf. Upon completion, parents and their child received a certificate of attendance.

Find out more about our Singapore Sign Language workshops. You can also email for queries.

By James Ong, Deaf Studies dept

Storytelling in sign language @ NLB

A fairytale at Ang Mo Kio NLB

Why did children, parents, and families show up for this annual SADeaf X National Library Board (NLB) collaboration?

“Get ready to enter the magical world of storytelling in sign language during the school holidays! Join us at public libraries across Singapore on November 5th and December 3rd, 10th, and 16th. Bring your kids, parents, families, and friends for an unforgettable experience! We’ll be retelling classic tales like Rapunzel, the Giving Tree, and The Little Mermaid, all in sign language with the help of a voice interpreter. Not only will you learn new vocabulary words, but you’ll also get to see the children immerse themselves in role-playing after listening to the stories. And at the end of it all, everyone will be rewarded with a special Merdeaf badge for their hard work and effort in learning sign language and for trying out the performance. See you there!”

And that’s why! Check out the photos!

Deaf storyteller Moses Chan with adorable kids at Tampines NLB

All eyes and full attention at Jurong East NLB

Text/Photos by James Ong, Deaf Studies

A fun day out at Sarimbun Scout Camp

On 26 November 2022 the Itinerant Support Service (ISS) team organised our Client Engagement Day, a one-day programme, in collaboration with Sands Leadership Development Centre.

ISS clients and their siblings were brought to Sarimbun Scout Camp for a fun and purposeful outdoor learning experience. The participants came to know and interact with students from different schools, as well as learn about respecting diversity, developing character and problem-solving skills and being creative. They worked in teams to think, plan, innovate and come up with solutions to resolve the challenges encountered during the various ice breakers activities, outdoor cooking, and low elements activities.

The day ended with a reflection over a Blue Sky Campfire where everyone expressed their gratitude, thoughts and emotions. It was a heart-warming moment witnessing the ISS clients and their siblings presented certificates to each other and celebrating the new friendships formed as well.

Text by: Jermaine Luo and ISS team

Getting back together again! (aka Staff Retreat 2022) 

We came, we saw, we found Judy.

As at the finale of a K-drama series, we’re all together again..

After the heartbreak of being forced apart due to Covid restrictions, 46 of us from the Singapore Association for the Deaf and Mountbatten Vocational School finally got to come together for a joyful reunion for the annual year-end staff retreat, the first such ‘live’ gathering in two years. It was a great opportunity for veteran staff to catch up with one another, especially with old pals from other departments, and for our new hires to get to know better their colleagues.

The first stop was the SADeaf AVA Room, and out and around the association premises, where we enjoyed ourselves partaking in a quiz (and discovered really, incredibly obscure trivia about SADeaf history), and quirky games like “Finding Judy” (spoiler alert: we did, in the end, succeed in the search-and-rescue mission of our big boss, no worries), Graphic Intuition and Piece Me Together. Oh, we also had the pleasure of being regaled by Dennis and Hock Sik’s stories of the SADeaf era of yore. The competition for the top prizes among the three teams turned out to be rather.. fierce and kind of.. eye-widening in that we got to see the hitherto not-so-familiar sides of our colleagues.

Next up was a short bus ride to a hearty lunch at Carousel Hotel (not to be confused with the online used-goods seller) at Royal Plaza on Scotts, where we had so much fun eating and chatting that more than a few of us stayed past the bewitching end-of-buffet hour.

Our heartfelt appreciation to the organising team – Kalavathi, Barbara, Josiah, Moses, Kazay, Hock Sik, led by James – for their hard work in coming up with the activities, planning the programme and their gourmet’s choice of makan!

Welfie experts

Yes! We found her!

Because the background is so scenic..

Dennis in beast storyteller mode

The celebrities’ group

Our heroes: The organising team of Kalavathi, Barbara, Josiah, Moses, Kazay, Hock Sik, and James


The die-hard groupies

The more sober groupies

The kawaii groupies

And that’s all, folks!

Text by: Alvan Yap, CA
Photos by: Ernest Toh and assorted staff

SADeaf wins Charity Transparency Award 2022

The Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) is delighted and proud to announce we have won the Charity Transparency Award 2022! The Charity Transparency Awards (CTA) recognises charities for adopting good transparency and governance standards under the Charity Transparency Framework (CTF).

Being awarded the CTA will strengthen confidence and trust in SADeaf among our donors, funders, community and other supporters. This is the second time SADeaf has won the CTA, the first being in 2016. SADeaf is also a finalist of the Charity Governance Award.

Not contented to rest on our laurels, SADeaf will strive to continue our best practices in running our operations, finances and services. We would like to thank our Audit Committee members, Executive Council members and staff for making this possible.

The Charity Transparency and Governance Awards 2022 ceremony was held at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre on 9 November 2022. On SADeaf’s behalf, Ms Valerie Tan, Executive Council member and chairperson of the Audit Committee, received the award from Mr Desmond Chin, Commissioner of Charities.

Ms Valerie Tan with Mr Desmond Chin during the award ceremony (Photo courtesy of Charity Council Secretariat, MCCY)

Awards Ceremony 2022: Recognising our achievers!

The SADeaf Awards Ceremony 2022 was held on Saturday, 24 September 2022, as part of the IWDP finale at the SADeaf Hall. This was the first ‘live’ in-person ceremony since 2019. Gracing the occasion was SADeaf President Eric Tseng and Executive Director Judy Lim.

Highlights included opening and closing speeches by President Tseng and Ms Lau Ee Wun, member of the Award Vetting Panel, respectively. All participants enjoyed a buffet and mingling session at the end as well!

Emcee Gohpi Nathan guides us through the ceremony!

These awards recognise outstanding achievers from the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, as well as teachers who work directly with deaf students.

Outstanding Deaf Student (Secondary):
Toh Ling Ying Gladys
Outstanding Deaf Student (Post-Secondary/Tertiary): Chua Jia Ying
Special Talent: Neoh Yew Kim (Yuki)
Teacher of the Year: Thiruchelvan S/O Nagamuthu (ITE College West)

(There were no award winners or no nominees in all other categories.)

President Tseng with Ms Gladys Toh, Outstanding Deaf Student (Secondary) awardee

Ms Chua Jia Ying, the Outstanding Deaf Student (Post-Secondary/Tertiary) awardee, giving a speech

The long service award for staff recognise their dedication and service to the association and larger community.

5 years
Khairiyah bte Mohd Hussin
Ser Wee Tak

Executive Director Judy Lim with Wee Tak from our facilities team.

10 years
Lee Meng Hong Lily
Kamsiah Binte Abdul Jamil
Barbara Bernadette D’ Cotta

With Ms Lily Lee from MVS.

15 years
Tay Ming Lin Zach
Syed Muhd Bin Abdul Hamid Al-Husaini

With evergreen interpreter Zach Tay

20 years
Lai Siu Fai

With Mr Lai Siu Fai, our two-decade veteran!

30 years
Low Geok Hwa

35 years
Nafisah Bte Mohd Amin

Our heartiest congratulations to all award winners!


Ruby Award
Estate of Henry Bolter (Deceased)
Amarjit Singh

Sapphire Award
Lions Club of Singapore
Balijinder Karur Ranjit Singh
Sonova Singapore Pte Ltd

Taylor & Francis Asia Pacific
Sonova Singapore Ptd Ltd

We are thankful to Sonova Singapore Pte Ltd for its steadfast support through the years.

One for the album!

Ms Lau Ee Wun giving the closing speech!

We wish to thank the Award Vetting Panel, chaired by Mr Martin Marini, as well as all participants, volunteers and staff for making this possible.

By Alvan Yap, CA
Photos by: Edwin Ong, volunteer photographer

Deaf Forum 2022

Deaf participants and a caregiver took part in a cosy “fireside chat” session with SADeaf president Eric Tseng on Saturday, 24 September 2022, as part of the final-day IWDP programme.

This session was an opportunity for Deaf and hard-of-hearing members in our community to share issues of concern and raise suggestions to Eric and the management. There was also a talk by Ms Marianne Su from the SG Digital Office on tech programmes and grants for people .with disabilities, as well as lunch for all to cap the event!

Ensuring full access – participants were provided with notetaking, interpretation and Deaf interpreters.

SADeaf President Eric Tseng presenting Ms Marianne Su a token of appreciation for spending her morning with us!

A Perfect 10 with the Purple Parade!

Purple Parade, which aims to support inclusion and celebrate abilities of persons with disabilities, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. SADeaf is proud to have been a part of this premier disability event for the past decade!

For this edition, SADeaf partnered with Nanyang Polytechnic for the contingent march on Saturday, 29 October 2022. SADeaf also manned a games booth for the public to try out sign language games and spread the Deaf awareness to the general public.

We wish to thank our volunteers and staff from SADeaf, as well as all those who participated in the event.

By James Ong, DAS

Amplifying our stories!

Amplified is a short story project documenting the experiences of Itinerant Support Service (ISS) clients with hearing loss. For this first edition, we gathered a total of ten stories from clients of different ages, who wrote on their personal narratives about their hearing loss/deafness.

The end results? A collection of their stories in print!

Our young writers! (Excluding the chap on the extreme right.)

On 7 September 2022, ISS clients, parents and stakeholders, including MOE partners, came together for an evening of celebration, food and sharing! Three of our featured writers – Samuel Luah, Reeve Tan and Regina Soh – invited us into their world, to follow along on their journey navigating life with hearing loss. In their own words, and on stage, they shared with the audience the unique challenges they faced, and how they tackled these with the help of the community around them to become self-accepting and self-advocating individuals. Indeed, as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.

There was also sharing by various speakers: Mr Majumdar gave us a glimpse of the parent’s perspective through sharing his experiences in raising a child with hearing loss. Ms Ismaiyah, a Special Educational Needs Officer with one of our school partners, walked us through the strength a home-school-community partnership could bring in supporting these students. Guest speaker, SADeaf staff Mr Alvan Yap inspired our crowd with the story of his search for his identity as a deaf person in a hearing world.

Together on stage launching the book!

To cap the event, Amplified was finally launched! After a year’s hard work, everyone could witness the smiles on each of these student writer’s face, as they got to hold their personal copy of the book everyone had collaboratively produced. The positive energy around the room was so infectious, and it also served as a gentle reminder that no matter how easy or difficult each of their journey is, they will continue to push through, to overcome, and to become the amazing persons they all can be!

To download an e-copy of the book, click here.

Clients and their families tucking in!

Itinerant Support Service (ISS) is a school-based programme for students with hearing loss in mainstream schools. To learn more about Amplified, or the services ISS offer, do chat us up at iss_enquiry@sadeaf.org.sg. Browse here for more information.

Text and photos by Joan Peh and ISS team