Talking Hands, a service to the hearing impaired, has been actively engaging its beneficiaries. City News reports on recent events.
Contributed By Lau Ber Nard
“Disabled” doesn’t mean unable. This is the understanding that runs through Talking Hands’ passionate outreach to the hearing-impaired in Singapore. The hearing-impaired are perfectly capable of having as much fun as anyone else.
A RIDE ON THE DUCK TOURS
On Sep. 27, in anticipation of Children’s Day just round the corner, Talking Hands—a part of City Harvest Community Services Association—collaborated with the Singapore School for the Deaf to bring 15 hearing-impaired students on a Duck Tours ride.
The students made up an excited group at the waiting area of Singapore Duck Tours at Suntec City. CHCSA’s program executive, Eden Sim, served as interpreter during the tour from beginning to end. After the quick introduction of rules and a briefing of regulations were done with, the group was ushered into its very own “Duck,” named Orleans.
The tour began on the road at the largest man-made fountain in the world in Suntec, and this boat-on-wheels trundled across Marina Park before splashing its way into the river next to the Benjamin Sheares Bridge. The students squealed in delight as their bus drove right into the water.
All on the boat were treated to famous sights and monuments of Singapore, including the Singapore Flyer, the Marina Bay Sands, the Esplanade and the Merlion. The students also managed to catch a glimpse of dragon boat teams practicing hard along the Marina Bay.
As the bus-boat made its way back to Suntec City, the students had the opportunity to sit in the captain’s seat and have their pictures taken.
For tour guide, Dino, this was his first time bringing a group of hearing-impaired individuals out on the Duck Tours. He said, “It’s interesting to see a completely different culture, maybe I should learn sign language and become the first-ever tour guide with sign language ability.”
TIME FOR OISHI AND ICE CREAM
A much dryer but no less fun experience awaited another group of hearing-impaired beneficiaries. On Oct. 2, Talking Hands held a quirky sushi-making party titled “Oishi DIY,” at the Lagoon View multipurpose hall.
Participants included 21 adults and 11 children, who got to know each other quickly through an inventive icebreaker. Forming groups of five to six, each group had to make its own sushi using masking tape, garbage bags and recycled newspapers.
After much hilarity, the participants got down to the real event of the day: learning to make edible sushi. They first had to wash their hands, then form pairs and head off to their tables for their task.
A Talking Hands volunteer served as instructor, teaching the various techniques and important details to observe when making sushi. This included the importance of using the sushi rice and fillings sparingly, rolling the sushi as tight as possible and using a very sharp and slightly damp knife to cut the sushi roll.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF CHCSA
The hearing-impaired teams were then given the green light to start making their very own sushi creations. Smiles were seen and laughter heard as they scooped, patted and rolled.
After tasting the results of their own hard work, it was time for dessert. The catch was, they had to make dessert all by themselves. And what is a better dessert than ice cream? CHCSA’s program executive Eden Sim taught the participants how to make ice cream using milk, whipping cream, ice, salt and Zip-loc bags. The participants were amazed at the simplicity of it all. They made their own ice cream, heaping their creations with toppings before finishing it all off with huge smiles on their faces.
The event ended with prizes given out to the team with the best newspaper plastic bag sushi and to participants who could answer the questions concerning the art of sushi and ice-cream making.
It was great to see the hearing-impaired bonding with one another and acquiring new life skills that they could bring home