Over the years, there are biases and misconceptions towards learning sign language that would hinder development in oral communication. The result of sign language being sidelined in mainstream education is that both normal-hearing and hearing-impaired children have missed a treasure. Without sign language, a hearing impaired child is often lost in identity, while a normal-hearing child simply lacks the exposure and empathy for those who are simply less fortunate.
Let’s get started by learning sign language!
SLCO develops sign bilingualism — merging both signed and spoken language curriculums through co-teaching by deaf and hearing teachers. SLCO offers pre-school language development programmes with sign bilingual classes for both parents and children in communities and schools. The goal is to create an inclusive environment where all children can learn and grow together. This is also a perfect way to raise awareness for better understanding and appreciation towards deaf people and their vivid culture.
Through providing sign bilingual language activities, children with hearing impairment have shown significant improvement in language skills, while their parents gained invaluable skills and confidence in communicating with their children. The programme also demonstrates that normal-hearing children have strengthened both cognitive and emotional capacity by learning sign languages.
SLCO has made tremendous effort over the years and built the foundation for creating long-term impact. The team has received recognitions from the Asia for Good Reader’s Choice Award at SVA Asia 2017 — the first social enterprise in Hong Kong to be awarded at this competition, and Mind Matters – A Hackathon for Social Impact, a campaign co-organized by Asian Charity Services and HSBC Private Banking in 2020 for their contributions.
SLCO envisions a diverse and inclusive society. This begins by creating an enjoyable learning environment where all children can experience the magic of being able to communicate with each others, one signing at a time.
– Deaf and hearing-impaired individuals
– Parents of both deaf and normal-hearing children
Gladys is an accomplished researcher-cum-advocate for sign language, publishing widely on sign linguistics, sign language acquisition and deaf education. For years she fought for equal educational opportunities for deaf people with sign bilingualism, winning her the 2013 Hong Kong Humanity Award. She founded SLCO Community Resources Limited in 2016 to develop training programmes and services. Gladys obtained her PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh.