Society seeks to be welfare support platform for deaf folk
Posted on : 09 Jan 2021  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (fifth right) and Fatimah, on his right, are seen with SSD members.

KUCHING: The Sarawak Society for the Deaf (SSD) aims to be a welfare support platform for the deaf community and their families through training, employment and entrepreneurship.

The society states that its mission is to ensure welfare and support would be provided to the increasing number of the deaf individuals in Sarawak, as well as to train and promote supervisory skills – empowering its deaf members to be self-confident, self-reliant, and self-sufficient.

“In terms of public awareness, we want to deliver quality sign language and deaf awareness training programmes to improve hearing people’s understanding of deaf culture, difficulties that deaf people face, and communication issues that they (deaf people) face at work or in social situations,” the society in a statement, issued in connection with its courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg here yesterday.

Minister of Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah led the delegation.

“The objective of the courtesy call is to introduce the SSD staff members and brief the Chief Minister on the society’s roles and objectives,” it said.

“SSD membership now stands at more than 300 members comprising schoolchildren, young individuals and working adults, who regularly meet at the society’s premises on weekends.”

Initiated by the Lions Club of Kuching Host in the 1980s, the SSD has since been functioning as a charitable organisation, working with and for the deaf community in Sarawak, particularly in Kuching.

Activities carried out during its early years mainly involved preschoolers and young adults who had no formal education and were taught sign language, apart from arts and crafts, cookery, and simple sewing.

The preschool programme went on successfully for many years until the Education Department set up a similar programme.

The society was housed at various rented premises until it acquired a piece of land from the Sarawak government. It moved into the three-storey building at Lot 1862, Lorong Laksamana, Jalan Laksamana Cheng Ho on June 16, 2002.

The society is funded through public donations and government grants.

It holds annual charity food fairs to help raise funds for continuous development, support, and the welfare of its members.