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Editorial – “Exploring Disability Studies in Singapore: Reflections on methodology”

Kuansong Zhuang, Victor

 

Image still taken from the video, Some Sit on Earth, which tells of Disabled Peoples’ International Founding in 1981. The image has a table, where 5 men are seated. The background has a large sign saying Disabled Peoples’ International First World Congress 30 November – 4 Dec 1981, Singapore. Ron Chandran-Dudley, the Singaporean founder chairperson, sits on the extreme left. [1]

 

As a field of study, disability studies has in the last thirty years seen increased interest and exponential growth in academic institutions in Britain and America. However, disability studies is very much nascent in Singapore despite our common shared origins in the international disability movement. What then does doing disability studies mean and how would it look like in Singapore?

Disability Studies Quarterly, the journal of the Society for Disability Studies, offers a useful introduction.[i] It notes that disability studies is multi-disciplinary and is concerned with the issues of people with disabilities, representing the full array of academic techniques and disciplines, towards the promotion of full participation of disabled people in society. In academia, scholars have studied disability across various fields, such as history, political science, sociology, social work, medicine and rehabilitation sciences among others.

As methodology, disability studies is necessarily diverse but yet holds specific meaning. For me, to do disability studies is to necessitate a move, beyond the use of disability as objects/subjects of study, to see disability as a mode of analysis. It is in this sense that theories must be purposeful and useful for disabled people to explain their lived experiences. What then does it mean to do disability studies? The writers in this volume of S-pores have tried to focus on specific ways in which we can study and understand the experience of disability. In so doing they are not just simply adding their stories to the mix, but rather using their experiences to illuminate oppressive structures in the context of Singapore and change normative ways of behaving.

 

Beginnings

I first started working on the subject of disability more than ten years ago as an undergraduate student majoring in history at the National University of Singapore. My then academic supervisor, Dr Sai Siew Min, had introduced me to the possibility of working on the subject of disability, to write the stories of disabled people and to challenge the way the historiography of Singapore has been written. I see my earlier work in retrospect as being situated in the field of history, tracing and writing a history of disability.

Thus, I worked on enabling disabled people by challenging ableist national histories which did not capture their presence. Disabled people were interviewees I worked with, whose voices were crucial to challenge the dominance of hegemonic national history in Singapore.[ii] While calls have been made for the inclusion of disabled people in society, their voices are absent from both the Singapore Story and academic histories of Singapore. The tacit acceptance of disabled people as deformed bodies in need of normalization, meant that they were not considered as proper subjects of history.

This reflection on my own beginnings allows an opportunity to ponder on the meaning of disability studies. If one works on the subject of disability or does research on disabled people, does that make one a disability studies scholar? When I started out, I had little or no understanding of the history of both the disability movement and disability studies. Neither did I identify with the disability movement nor was I hoping to explain the underlying factors/forces that prevented the full inclusion of disabled people in society. In recent years however, I have tended towards the use of the term ‘disabled people’ instead of ‘people with disabilities’ or ‘PWDs’ which is common parlance in Singapore. I have come to recognise that we have been disabled by external barriers, rather than are simply people with ‘disabilities’. I make a distinction between the individual body and the external environment, emphasizing it is the latter which needs changing, rather than the body.

On this journey, I met people who became family to me. Ron Chandran-Dudley, founder-chairperson of Disabled Peoples’ International, became Uncle Ron, a mentor and a grandfather I never had. Over countless glasses of scotch whiskey and hot humid Singapore evenings, he regaled me with stories of how he and contemporaries like Ed Roberts, Vic Finkelstein and Linqt Bendqivst fought for the emancipation and self-representation of disabled people internationally from the 1970s onwards.[iii] Uncle Ron also told of his involvement in disability activism locally. One of the stories that I fondly remember, had to do with how the Singapore Association for the Blind, became the Singapore Association of the Blind. In 1981, Uncle Ron and other disabled people managed to pass amendments to the constitution of the Association, which eventually led to a majority-blind board. The name change might seem trivial, but it represented the change of the Association from a charity concerned with helping the blind, to one led by the blind. Uncle Ron’s passing on 30 December 2015 was a great loss to me and to disability activism in Singapore.  His stories of disabled peoples’ struggle to remove barriers in Singapore and elsewhere introduced to me one of the key fundamental tenets of disability studies.

To do disability studies, one must first and foremost be connected to the lives that made the discipline possible. Disability studies traces its origins to the disability rights movement. In Britain, the social model of disability originated from the activism of Paul Hunt, who as a resident of Le Court Cheshire home, advocated for consumer rights of disabled residents and who, together with Vic Finkelstein, subsequently formed the Union of Physically Impaired Against  Segregation (UPIAS)  to represent disabled people in their struggle against discrimination.[iv] Mike Oliver subsequently built on the policy statement espoused by UPIAS to coin the social model as we know it today, where the problem of disability was not the individual in need of cure, but rather where barriers to participation were created by society. Oliver, Finkelstein and Colin Barnes were instrumental in the setting up of disability studies programmes in Britain.[v] The case was similar in America. While academics studied the social interactions between disabled people and within society,[vi] Ed Roberts and Judy Heumann fought for independent living, and disabled scholar-activists such as Irving Zola founded the Section for the Study of Chronic Illness, Impairment, and Disability which subsequently became the Society for Disability Studies.[vii]

As a result of this history, disability studies from the start served to illuminate the ways in which society oppressed disabled people, notably through the use of social model-led analysis. Traditionally, people with disabilities were disadvantaged because they had a lack of function or of a body part.  This individual/medical model of disability locates causality of disability within the individual; that disability stems from functional limitation or psychological losses.[viii] As such, disabled individuals are seen as a burden and cannot participate in society. Thus professionals in healthcare endeavoured to cure individuals of their disability so as to restore them to normative functioning. Discourses of welfare, charity and sympathy surround this paradigm as society endeavours to care for or cure the disabled.

The social model of disability flips this paradigm around. Instead of seeing causality within the body of the individual, it locates the inability of society to provide services and to meet the needs of disabled people as the cause of disability.[ix] Thus people’s inability to function in society is not a result of differences in bodies/minds or impairments, but rather because of societal and environmental barriers.[x] While disability studies has moved on to more complex understandings and analysis of the interrelations between (disabled) identity, society, culture and the body, it has continued to illuminate oppressive structures not just for scholarly research but in relation to real lives.

In Singapore, the emergence of a discourse of disability based on the social model of disability can be traced to the formation of Disabled Peoples’ International in Singapore in 1981 and the election of Uncle Ron as its founder-chairperson. In the 1980s, disabled people in Singapore began to turn away from viewing their bodies as impaired and in need of cure, to highlighting the barriers in society that prevented their full and equal participation.

The building of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) in the 1980s is a case in point.[xi] Unlike today where the MRT system is accessible, disabled people then were systematically excluded from using the trains. The official explanation ranged from paternalism and budget consciousness to the need to maintain efficiency in the system. No longer willing to let their bodies be seen as the problem, disabled activists in Singapore highlighted the barriers placed on their inclusion by the MRT’s refusal to provide elevators. While ultimately to no avail then, their activism, founded upon a focus on the external environment instead of their bodies, marked the beginnings of a new era.

 

Working with disability

As researchers and scholars continue to contribute to the emancipation of disabled people, we must be aware of the kinds of power structures that we, whether disabled or non-disabled, are embedded in – such as class, status and knowledge – which inherently place us in positions of power over that of the researched/disabled. While this is common to academic disciplines, disability studies pays even more attention to the questions of who gets to speak on behalf of the disabled. One way to do this is to constantly undertake self-reflexivity in our work. We should, as Gayatri Spivak states, be aware of the ways in which those in power can subvert the voice of the marginalized and come to claim to speak for them.[xii] Researchers need to be constantly aware of the possibility that we may be unconsciously subverting the lived experiences of people with disabilities. To counter this, some qualitative researchers in disability studies have focused on using emancipatory research methods such as participatory action research which seeks to address the inherent imbalance of power. In other words, disabled epistemologies have to be recognised as valid and valuable: what people with disabilities have to say should never be inherently devalued just because of their disabilities.

Thus, disability studies has constantly sought to be accessible and inclusive, giving voice to and including the marginalized, in ways that subvert oppressive structures within society and the academy. This is especially pertinent when the notion of ‘speaking’, ‘voicing’ and ‘hearing’ – that we may take for granted in both research and everyday life – might hold specific ontological meaning to disabled people. For instance, academics could focus on the ways in which everyday acts, such as giving a presentation at a conference, excludes particular groups of people in the ways it is performed. Research could also involve disabled people in the research production process, as co-producers of knowledge.[xiii] To put it simply, in disability studies, we should strive to work with disabled people and not on disabled people.

The point of accessibility and inclusion can be illuminated by a practical example. On 11 August 2018, a group of us, disabled people and allies, organised a disabled-led seminar which aimed to share how disabled experiences can enrich our understanding of everyday life and professional practice.[xiv] We arranged for note takers who transcribed what was being said verbally into text that was displayed on a screen. Sign language interpreters were made available for the Deaf community. We also printed speaking notes of the speakers in both normal and large print format and made them available for the audience. The audience were invited to make themselves comfortable and to use the space as they wish. We were not just acknowledging disabled experiences as part of the knowledge production process. By centering disability experience, we also challenged normative expectations of organising a seminar by making our practices more inclusive and accessible to different bodies and minds.

 

Disability as mode of analysis

Disability studies must continuously challenge normative structures, including those  which the academy creates and is a part of.[xv] We should thus see disability as always constituted in relation to dominant narratives in society, which shapes how we think about disability.[xvi] Historians of disability have thus argued for the examination of disability as a subject of inquiry in addition to the triumvirate of race, class, and gender, and to analyse the ways in which disability has been used historically to marginalise and subjugate, usually by taking a social model approach towards the analysing of disability in history.[xvii]

As Paul Longmore notes, we also need to challenge the ways in which we think about disability, even within the dominance of the social model and its usefulness for the disability movement. [xviii] In my research, I hope to understand how cultural texts of inclusion – inclusive community spaces, public education campaigns and pride parades – embody the ways in which we think about and understand disability in Singaporean society. I want to study how the social model was understood as an idea in Singapore, and how various historical forces, actors and circumstances have created inclusion as we know it today, especially in a context of a dominant state bureaucracy that has penetrated our everyday lives. This can provide a counter narrative to Western dominated narratives of disability, which have grown out of the social model.

To illustrate some of these points about a disability studies methodology, we might analyse a specific example of disability in Singapore. In June 2016, a deaf cleaner who worked at a food court in JEM shopping mall was berated by a woman for clearing her food before she had finished her meal. A video of this episode was uploaded to Facebook and the video-sharing site, STOMP, and generated considerable views and opinions, mostly in defence of the cleaner.[xix] In the video and in subsequent reports in The Straits Times, the woman insisted that the cleaner ‘should not work because of his deafness and should stay at home; that the government could feed him and that he should be a beggar’. The manager of the food court had also apologised to the woman, saying that the cleaner was ‘deaf and mute’ and could not make the apology himself.[xx]

We can analyse this episode from the angle of civility and interpersonal relations. As many netizens and media have commented, the woman should not have scolded the cleaner and her behaviour can be regarded as shameful and improper in today’s society. To discuss this from a disability studies perspective, however, would be to think about how disability is constituted and how we react with/to disability in our lives. Why did the woman use those specific terms to describe and berate the disabled cleaner? One possibility is that the woman initially did not realise that the cleaner was deaf, and when she did, became defensive and argued that he could not do his work properly as he was deaf.

Without a doubt, some might agree that the incident happened because of the cleaner’s disability. But to analyse this incident focusing on only the individual is beside the point, for the experience of disability must be located not just with the individual but seen from a larger societal perspective. The discrimination faced by the cleaner, must be seen as pointing towards structures and barriers that disabled people have to navigate in their everyday lives. When this is done, the social structures that mediate the discussion of disability in society becomes evident. One could connect the woman’s outburst to commonly held assumptions that disabled people are unable to work, should stay at home away from the public eye and begin to ask how these assumptions and discourses of disability come to circulate in society and why certain groups of people are marginalised because of body/mind differences.

The representations of disability also highlight how we should pay heed to disabled people as co-producers of knowledge. As the episode raged online and in the real world, a forum letter to The Straits Times took offence at the ways in which the cleaner was labelled as deaf and mute and specifically noted that while the deaf might not be able to hear, they are not dumb nor mute and can speak. The editor of the ST replied that the newspaper had indeed ascertained that the cleaner was in fact deaf and mute.[xxi] One could perhaps see this as a debate about the appropriateness of language. Or one could argue that The Straits Times in making the assertion is making a valid point in factually describing things as they are.

This, however, ignores the fact that disabled people had written to the newspaper on several occasions in the past stating that the term mute is offensive and has a derogatory meaning historically.[xxii] The community’s preference is for the term deaf to be used, rather than associate deafness with the terms dumb or mute. A deaf person could speak in other ways, for instance in sign language. In their quest for equal participation in society, the disability movement, both in Singapore and internationally, have also demanded that their voices be heard. The defence put up and the amnesia exhibited by the newspaper highlight the fact that disabled people are not seen as worthy co-producers of knowledge. By insisting on using the term mute despite the objections of the community, The Straits Times could be said to effecting an erasure of voice, both in the ontological and the discursive sense.

Perhaps a final point could be made here about representations of disability. In describing the cleaner as deaf and mute, are we inscribing particular characteristics on the body? Are we simply describing the person and labelling him or are we deliberately invoking the spectre of disability? In other words, why is there a need to describe the disability of the cleaner, when the incident was sparked by not his deafness but by his clearing of the plates? To further complicate things, online commentators voiced their anger by labelling the woman, who berated the cleaner, as retard and suggested that she had a personality disorder.[xxiii] We thus see various invocations of disability in this episode: the first in the person of the cleaner, sees disability as embodied within particular bodily characteristics of lack; the second in the person of the woman, sees disability as embodied within the bodies of those who behave outside of agreed social norms. Representations of disability twice invoked in this episode, can be said to be linked by a common discourse of abnormality – that in the final analysis, both actors in this episode are disabled and both are disabled because of their bodies.

 

Doing Disability Studies in Singapore

In identifying myself as a disability studies scholar, I am often asked “Are you disabled?” or told, “You do not look disabled”. My response is to pose this question instead, “What is a disability?” In asking this question, my intention is to ask if disability is connected to some aspect of the body, found to be deficient or lacking by the medical profession and society? Or is it an identity? In taking this stance, I do not deny that many disabled people in Singapore continue to be marginalised. Indeed, many among us continue to face exclusion from society as a result of bodily difference — the disabled who are unable to secure a job, children who are sent to segregated schools, people who use service animals who are denied entry to public places… the list goes on. What I find problematic is the fact that the question of disability is often either connected to visible lack or deficiency located in the body, identified often with the power of the gaze. In refusing to subscribe to the binaries of disabled/non-disabled, I (hope to) focus on creating space not on the body, but on the external environment. In doing so, I envisage a future where disability can be seen as part of our lived diversity; where differences in bodies/minds are non-consequential, just as culture, race and ethnicity, and do not affect one’s participation in society.

Disability studies thus demands a drastic re-thinking and re-examination of the ways in which we research, analyse and think about disability in our lives, with deep roots in activism that challenge societal norms. It is with this hope of employing disabilities studies approaches to explore various themes and aspects of disability in Singapore, influenced by our own personal experiences of disability that we present this collection of essays:

In Looking at ‘d’ art: Fab or Fad?, Alvan Yap, an aspiring poet and artist discusses recent development in the disability arts scene. He makes the distinction between art for disabled people and disability-led arts. Art for disabled people typically uses therapy as a way to occupy their time. On the other hand, disability arts is connected to the lived experiences of disabled people and uses disability culture to challenge, inform and influence art performances.

Jacqueline Woo, a Christian, reflects on the meaning of disability within the institution of the church in her article, Cripping the Church: A Personal Reflection on Disability and Religion. Weaving personal experiences and disability studies theories, she challenges normative expectations of what it means to be a Christian for her, arguing that the rethinking of norms in religion could serves as a basis for a more inclusive society.

Public toilets are one facet of our everyday life that we take for granted, but for some, that might not be the case. Fiona Tan reflects on her own experiences in the use of public toilets, linking them to larger issues of access in her article, Universal Design – Beyond the Exclusive “Barrier Free” Labels.  Even as Singapore progresses to be more inclusive and incorporate the needs of disabled populations into our infrastructure, we cannot ignore the need for greater mindset change

Tracing the history of the Deaf in Singapore, Phoebe Tay offers a glimpse into Deaf identity and culture in Singapore. In Being d/Deaf in Singapore: A Personal Reflection of Deaf Culture and Identity, she reflects on her own personal journey in navigating the identity of being deaf and being Deaf. Her essay allows the reader to understand issues concerning the Deaf community, relating to D/deaf identity, language acquisition and culture. Phoebe writes from the perspective of Deaf Studies, which like Disability Studies is a growing field.

Writing from the perspective of Mad Studies, Fadiah Johari in her essay, My experiences and perspectives on the lack of empathy in psychiatry, discusses her experiences receiving psychiatric diagnoses and treatments and her own perspectives in her interactions with mental health professionals. She argues that we need to re-examine dominant narratives of what it means to be ‘normal’ and ‘mentally ill’ in society, and to rethink the nature of the relationship between patient and doctor.

Our purpose in writing these essays is not only to show how disability studies in Singapore can work to highlight the structures which inhibit the participation of disabled people in society, but also to highlight ways in which we can begin to do disability studies in Singapore. As our country builds a more inclusive society amidst a rapidly ageing population, we dream of a new norm, where disability is constituted as part of the diversity that is the very nature of our society. These essays points to ways in which we can reconstitute the norms in our society as a basis towards building inclusion.

And for those who are interested in discussing disability studies in Singapore, do join us on our vibrant facebook community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DisabilityStudiesInSingapore/

 

 

Kuansong Victor, Zhuang is currently pursuing a PhD in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, focusing on a cultural analysis of the construction of normalcy and inclusion, and the experience of disability in Singapore. His first MA was in History from the National University of Singapore where his research focused on the history of disability in Singapore, tracing the emergence of various discourses of disability and how these were performed, understood and embodied in disabled people.  He was awarded the Chevening Scholarship in 2013 to pursue a second MA in Disability Studies at the University of Leeds where his research focused on a social model analysis of disability policy. He has worked in SG Enable for 6 years before embarking on his PhD and has also served as a grassroots volunteer for over 10 years.

 

Notes

[i] Disability Studies Quarterly, “Focus and Scope,” http://dsq-sds.org/about/editorialPolicies#focusAndScope (accessed Dec 8, 2017

[ii] Kuansong Zhuang, “Enabling the Singapore Story: Writing a History of Disability,” in Studies in Malaysian and Singapore History, eds. Bruce Lockhart and Tse Siang Lim (Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 2010), 37-71.

[iii] Ed Roberts, Vic Finkelstein and Linqt Bendqivst were internationally recognised disabled activists who fought for disability rights in America, Britain and Sweden respectively. They were also heavily involved in the development of international disability rights.

[iv] Paul Hunt, “A Critical Condition,” in Stigma: The Experience of Disability, ed. Paul Hunt (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1966), 143-159. The formation of UPIAS was fundamental in articulating one of the earliest notions of the social model of disability. See, UPIAS, Fundamental Principles of Disability (London: Union of Physically Impaired Against Segregation, 1976).

[v] Colin Barnes has pinpointed the role that he, Vic Finkelstein and Mike Oliver played in the role in setting up disability studies programmes in the UK. This includes the Open University course in 1975, the establishment of the journal Disability and Society in 1986, and the setup of the first disability studies programme in Leeds in 1992. See, Colin Barnes, “Disability and the Academy: A British Perspective,” http://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/files/library/Barnes-paris-presentation.pdf (accessed 9 Dec, 2017).

[vi] Erving Goffman’s Stigma, published in 1963, was celebrated as having a key role in the directions that disability studies in America has taken. See Jeffrey Brune et al., “Forum Introduction: Reflections on the Fiftieth Anniversary of Erving Goffman’s Stigma,” Disability Studies Quarterly 34, no. 1 (2014). doi:10.18061/dsq.v34i1.4014.

[vii] For a more detailed reading of disabled peoples’ activism in America, see Joseph P. Shapiro, No Pity (New York, NY: Times Books, 1994). James I. Charlton, Nothing about Us without Us (Berkeley, LA: University of California Press, 1998).

[viii] For more detail see: Michael Oliver, Understanding Disability: From Theory to Practice (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1996).

[ix] Ibid.

[x] Michael Oliver, Social Work with Disabled People (London: Macmillan, 1983).

[xi] Kuansong Zhuang, “A Voice of our Own: Rethinking the Disabled in the Historical Imagination of Singapore” (Unpublished MA Dissertation, National University of Singapore 2010).

[xii] Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Can the Subaltern Speak? (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1988).

[xiii] See: Susan Woelders et al., “The Power of Difference in Inclusive Research,” Disability & Society 30, no. 4 (2015), 528-542. doi:10.1080/09687599.2015.1031880.; Colleen A. Kidney and Katherine E. McDonald, “A Toolkit for Accessible and Respectful Engagement in Research,” Disability & Society 29, no. 7 (2014), 1013-1030. doi:10.1080/09687599.2014.902357; Rob Kitchin, “The Researched Opinions on Research: Disabled People and Disability Research,” Disability & Society 15, no. 1 (2000), 25-47. doi:10.1080/09687590025757.

[xiv] “Disability and Our Stories: Reflections on a disability led practice”. A Disability-Led Forum. Singapore University of Social Sciences, 11 August 2018, Singapore

[xv] Ann M. Fox, argues that we in disability studies must be self-reflexive both in challenging our own presumptions of what we know, but also in our external gaze on society. See, Ann M. Fox, “We must be Critical: The Current Purpose of Disability Studies,” Disability Studies Quarterly 37, no. 3 (2017). doi:10.18061/dsq.v37i3.5925.

[xvi] Merri Johnson and Robert McRuer, “Cripistemologies,” Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 8, no. 2 (Jan, 2014a), 127-148.

[xvii] Catherine J. Kudlick, “Disability History: Why we Need another “Other”,” The American Historical Review 108, no. 3 (2003), 763-793. doi:10.1086/ahr/108.3.763. Susan Burch and Lindsey Patterson, “Not just any Body: Disability, Gender, and History,” Journal of Women’s History 25, no. 4 (2013), 122-137. Kim E. Nielsen, “Historical Thinking and Disability History,” Disability Studies Quarterly 28, no. 3 (2008). Douglas C. Baynton, “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History,” in The New Disability History: American Perspectives, eds. Paul K. Longmore and Lauri Umansky (New York: New York University Press, 2001), 33-57.; Douglas C. Baynton, “Disability in History,” Disability Studies Quarterly 28, no. 3 (2008). doi:10.18061/dsq.v28i3.108.

[xviii] Paul K. Longmore, Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on Disability (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2003).

[xix] The original facebook post, as of Jan 2018 has over 30,000 shares and generated over 1.7 million views. Euphemia Lee, https://www.facebook.com/euphemia.lee.5/videos/vb.572540729/10154447285265730/?type=2&theater, [online] accessed on 1 Jan 2018.

[xx] Jeremy Koh, “Deaf and Mute Foodcourt Cleaner Berated by Woman Intends to Quit His Job this Month,” The Straits Times, Jun 6, 2016. http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/deaf-and-mute-foodcourt-cleaner-berated-by-woman-intends-to-quit-his-job-this-month?login=true; Hui Min Chew, “Caught on Video: Woman Rants Against ‘Deaf and Mute’ Cleaner at Jem Foodcourt,” The Straits Times, Jun 4, 2016. http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/caught-on-video-woman-rants-against-deaf-and-mute-cleaner-at-jem-foodcourt?login=true.

[xxi] Surinder Singh, “Yes, Cleaner Couldn’t Speak as Well,” The Straits Times, Jun 9, 2016. http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/readers-post/yes-cleaner-couldnt-speak-as-well.

[xxii] Daniel Gwee, “Misconception about those Whose Hearing is Impaired,” The Straits Times, Aug 29, 1986. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19860829-1.2.39.5.1?ST=1&AT=filter&K=mute&KA=mute&DF=&DT=&Display=0&AO=false&NPT=&L=English&CTA=Letter&NID=straitstimes&CT=LETTER&WC=&YR=&QT=mute&oref=article; Straits Times, “‘Deaf-Mute’ is an Inaccurate Term,” The Straits Times, Dec 9, 1999. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/digitised/issue/straitstimes19991209-1#

[xxiii] Euphemia Lee, https://www.facebook.com/euphemia.lee.5/videos/vb.572540729/10154447285265730/?type=2&theater, [online] accessed on 1 Jan 2018.


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