KUCHING, Jan 8: Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah led an entourage from Sarawak Society for the Deaf (SSD) to pay a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.
According to a media statement, the objective of the courtesy call was to introduce SSD staff as well as to brief Abang Johari on the objectives and roles of SSD.
SSD was initiated by the Lions Club Kuching Host in the 1980s. Since its inception, SSD has been functioning as a charitable organisation working with and for the deaf community in Kuching in particular and Sarawak generally.
The activities carried out then during the early years following its formation were mainly with the preschoolers and young adults who had no formal education and were taught sign language, arts and crafts, cookery and simple sewing.
The pre-school programme went on successfully for many years until when the Education Department started a similar programme.
SSD was housed at various rented premises until it managed to acquire a piece of land from the State government and since June 16, 2002, they have moved into its own three floored building located off Jalan Laksamana Cheng Ho here.
It is funded through the public donations and government grants. Annually, SSD also organised charity food fairs to help maintain and raise funds to ensure the continuous development, support and welfare of its growing members are taken care of.
Membership now stands at more than 300 members, consisting of school children, young adults and working adults who regularly meet on weekends at the Society’s premises.
SSD aims to ensure welfare and support are provided to the increasing numbers of the deaf in Sarawak community especially by providing training and promoting supervisory skills to deaf members so as to empower them to be self-confident, self-reliance and self-sufficient.
Among its mission is to establish an early intervention programme for young deaf children’s education achievement to be on par with their hearing peers as well as to enhance their talent and enable them to progress with confidence towards achieving their full potential.
In terms of social support, SSD hopes to be a welfare support platform for the deaf and their family through training, employment and entrepreneurship.
SSD is also dedicated in delivering quality sign language and deaf awareness training to improve hearing and people’s understanding of deaf culture, difficulties faced by the deaf and communication issues the deaf faced at work or in social situations. — DayakDaily