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SGSecure: A Movement for All Communities
The SGSecure movement empowers all of us to safeguard our community and this was more apparent at its first-ever outreach event for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Since its launch in 2016, the SGSecure movement has empowered Singaporeans to safeguard their communities and raised the level of emergency preparedness among individuals and organisations. 

On 7 April 2018, the movement was extended to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community for the first time, at a workshop at the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf). 

sadeaf gif - test

Over 60 SADeaf members attended the session, which was co-organised by the Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre. “The deaf and those who are hard-of-hearing are just as vulnerable as other people in times of crisis,” said Ms Sylvia Teng, 47, Executive Director for SADeaf. “This workshop helped to convey many important counter-terrorism messages, which will better prepare them for an emergency.” 

9 April 2018 SADeaf Executive Director Sylvia Teng for SGSecure
Reaching out to the community: SADeaf has over 5,400 clients, according to Ms Sylvia Teng, Executive Director of SADeaf. PHOTO: Ash Tiwari

During the workshop, Singapore Police Force (SPF) officers from the Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre shared the SGSecure’s “Run, Hide, Tell” and “Press, Tie, Tell” advisories and provided guidelines about spotting suspicious objects and behaviour. SADeaf members were also introduced to the SGSecure mobile app and shown how to make Police reports via SMS. 

“This has been a very good learning experience for me,” said SADeaf member Ms Regina Teo, a 54-year-old accountant. She shared how she’d once been trapped in a lift with her husband (who is also hard-of-hearing) and son. “We were in the lift one morning when it suddenly stopped,” recalled Regina. “Thankfully, our son was with us. He made a phone-call and someone came to our rescue. But in the future, if anything similar happens, I’ll be sure to use the ‘70999’ emergency SMS number.”

9 April 2018 SADeaf SGSecure Talk
Workshop participants took the opportunity to raise questions on personal security and counter-terrorism with SPF officers. PHOTO: Ash Tiwari

To ensure that SGSecure messages could be more easily understood by participants, the organisers used visual materials, video captions and interpreters. During the question-and-answer sessions, two interpreters were deployed; one off-stage to convey questions, the other on-stage to sign the answer to workshop participants.

9 April 2018 SGSecure SADeaf Group Shot crop
Over 60 SADeaf members attended the session, which was co-organised by the Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre. PHOTO: Ash Tiwari

The session gave SADeaf member Ms Jenny Yeo a better understanding of how she and her family can be prepared for emergencies. “Technology is always improving and this helps our community understand what’s going on around us,” said the 57-year-old pharmacy assistant. “But there’s another group of hard-of-hearing people that we tend to look out for; those who aren’t proficient in English. So having this workshop was good for all of us, because we can all understand sign language.”

Asked if they’ll be downloading the SGSecure mobile app, both Regina and Jenny replied that they would be doing so as soon as they got home. “I’m going to recommend the app to my son and parents too,” said Regina. “My parents are old, so it might be a bit more difficult for them to understand, but I’m willing to teach them.”
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 12 April 2018
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