Talking Hands is an extended arm of City Harvest Social Services Association, providing support and other outreach services to the hearing impaired community. Talking Hands currently serves up to 120 clients from all around Singapore.
On December 13, 2009, in conjunction with the festive season, Talking Hands threw a Christmas party for close to 100 guests including clients, volunteers and staff of Talking Hands at Roland Seafood Restaurant, a popular dining locale nestled in the heart of Marine Parade. The theme of the party was “Celebrating Christmas in Style” to which, attendees came dressed up for the occasion.
Talking Hands organizes seven to eight events in a year for its clients and volunteers. Sign language courses and training are held regularly for volunteers to aid communication with the hearing impaired.
The event kicked off with icebreakers — games to help “break the ice” among the attendees and facilitate communication. In the first game, everyone had move around with a sheet of paper containing names of people present at the party. The goal was to seek those people out and list out two to three fun-facts about them. The second game was a test of memory where attendees had to work together as a team to remember and list out as many items as possible from a picture that was flashed to them.
The games, although seemingly elementary, was evidence to show that barriers in communication are not impossible to overcome when all parties are willing to interact and work together.
|PHOTOS: Lee Boon Bee
The program for the night continued with a Best Dressed competition. Here, many of the hearing impaired defied the stereotype of being dull and outmoded as they showed up in their sharp and snazzy outfits. The night would not be complete without Christmas carols, albeit a little different from the norm. Volunteers displayed nothing short of sheer dedication as they signed to the lyrics of popular Christmas tunes such as ‘Last Christmas.’ Some of these volunteers had only taken up sign language a couple of months ago, but have been practicing daily in the weeks leading up to the Christmas party.
The night ended with prizes given out to the winners of the ice-breaker games, the best dressed and the lucky draw. Prizes included house
Many prizes were distributed in the course of the event. The 3 winners of the ice breaker games were rewarded with prizes, and at the end of the event, many prizes were also given out during a lucky draw, some of which included a rice cooker and a juice blender.
The hearing impaired community present for the event proved that real handicap is always in the mind. No matter what obstacles one may face, if there is a will, there will surely be a way.