#Hashtag Hong Kong



    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)



    Dr. Felix Sze, Co-director and Associate Professor , CUHK

    •      According to the latest census statistics published in 2021, around 3148 00 persons in Hong Kong are reported to have difficulty in hearing.
     In the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), sign language interpretation is fundamental in ensuring the human rights of deaf people. Sign interpretation services can support deaf people to access education, information, and government services, and to fully participate in all other aspects of life that require effective communications. 
    •       A significant portion of deaf people need interpretation services. At present, however, there are not sufficient full-time sign language interpreters in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Council of Social Services has a website for sign language interpreters to list their qualifications, expertise and contact information. To list their names on the website, interpreters need to provide formal proof (e.g., certifying letters from employers) that they have provided at least 200 hours of interpretation in the preceding two years. As of May 2024, there are 56 interpreters on the list. Among them, very few of them have worked on a full-time basis. 
    •       Earlier this year, the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, conducted a survey to investigate the working conditions and the needs of sign language interpreters in Hong Kong. We received valid responses from 185 interpreters. Over 70% of the respondents have provided interpreting services voluntarily, 29% have worked part-time, 24% as freelancers, and less than 10% have worked full-time. 
    •       In our observation, one of the main reasons contributing to the lack of full-time interpreters is limited funding to support the services. Sign language interpretation is labour-intensive and costly, and the majority of deaf people cannot afford to pay for the services out of their own pockets. Three years ago we conducted a large-scale survey on the sign interpretation services in Asia. Our finding shows that in places where sign language services are considered sufficient, the services are mainly paid for by the governments. These include Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. At present, the HK government has allocated some funding to NGOs to hire full-time interpreters. However, many deaf people complain that they cannot book their services because the interpreters are already fully engaged.
    •       This problem is particularly acute in education settings, where relatively lengthy and long-term services are required. Regarding tertiary education for deaf students, there exist no governmental policies on the provision of sign interpretation services to deaf signing students. Whether interpretation is offered depends entirely on the decisions of individual institutions, which need to take into consideration their own financial resources, and the allocation thereof. As a result, it is not uncommon to see deaf students quitting post-secondary education programs, from diploma up to PhD level, due to a lack of interpretation services.
    •       Because of insufficient full-time positions, and an unclear career prospect, many hearing people with good signing skills prefer not to work as full-time interpreters. The fluent hearing signers, including native signers who were born to deaf parents, opt for other career paths with better prospects and stable income. They can only serve as freelancers or volunteers in their spare time. Such a lack of career prospects has been a big hurdle to the professionalization of sign language interpretation in Hong Kong.  
    •       Apart from the lack of full-time interpreters, our recent survey has a few more notable findings. First, there is a growing body of deaf interpreters. We received responses from 31 deaf interpreters who are engaging in a variety of interpretation contexts, for example, from text to signs, between two sign languages, team interpreting with hearing interpreters to ensure that the signed messages are grammatical and look natural to the eyes of the deaf audience. Deaf interpreters are commonly found in many other developed countries, and they are deemed essential to enhance the interpretation quality in general. It is encouraging to see Hong Kong catching up in this aspect. 
    •       Another noteworthy finding is that 60% of our respondents are under the age of 45. Besides, 46% of our respondents have less than five years of experience. These younger and less experienced interpreters are in great need of professional training, support and job opportunities. In fact, when asked what their most pressing needs were, nearly 80% said they needed a stronger professional network to support their practice and development; nearly 68% would like to get professional training, and more than half wish to have more job opportunities. 
    •       To support the professional development of sign language interpretation, many things need to be done. Our research centre offers a professional diploma of sign interpretation training at QF Level 4. Besides, over the years, our centre has been building sign language online resources that not only enrich the general knowledge of the Deaf community but also serve as good learning materials for interpreters in specific areas such as medical knowledge, sex-related concepts, mental health issues, as well as legal basics. However, our efforts must be accompanied by strong government commitment, as well as collaboration with different stakeholders at the societal level, in order to enhance sign interpretation services in Hong Kong, both in terms of quantity and quality, in the years to come. 
    And now I have a song I'd like to dedicate to all of you listening. My song is: Masterpiece by Mandy Harvey . Mandy is a late-deafened song writer and singer, who got a golden buzzer in America’s Got Talent in 2017. Thank you. And enjoy the song.

    16/06/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:25)

    16/06/2024 - Part 1


    04 - 06


    Dr. Felix Sze, Co-director and Associate Professor (Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages) CUHK


    Dr Cheng Luk Ki, Director of Green Power


    Janet Wong, from Junior Chamber International Tai Ping Shan


    Koonie Chan, Executive Board Member of Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services


    Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK


    Dr. Anthony Ying, the Chairman of the Cancer Prevention/Early Detection Subcommittee of the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society


    iu Vor, Vice President of Hong Kong Entomological Society


    Faride Shroff, the Founder and CEO of SENsational Foundation


    Simon Wong, President of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants & Related Trades

    Katie Wong, Chief Officer (Elderly Service) The Hong Kong Council of Social Service


    As the population ages, more people find caring for their elderly loved ones falling on their shoulders.  While the population of Hong Kong increased only by 5% between 2011 and 2021, the population of centenarians, people aged 100 or more, increased by more than 6 folds.


    In light of the rapid increase in the population of adults of advanced age, say nonagenarians and centenarians, in collaboration with The University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Shue Yan University, The Hong Kong Council of Social Service recently conducted the second round of the Hong Kong Centenarian Study (with the first round taking place in 2011) with 151 families and found that most caregivers of centenarians are their children, with many of them being between 65-74 years old (43%). 


    This phenomenon of “the elderly caring for even older seniors” is common in Hong Kong.  It poses significant challenges, including physical fatigue, emotional stress, social isolation, and financial burden, adversely impacting caregivers’ health and well-being.


    The biggest challenge faced by elderly caregivers is physical and mental fatigue.  Caring for a loved one requires a lot of strength and energy, which can be even more taxing for elderly caregivers with health issues.  They may have to frequently lift or support a frail loved one, provide assistance in daily living, and perform other tasks that can strain their bodies continually.


    Emotional stress is another challenge, particularly when caring involves complex or arduous needs.  For example, tending to a loved one with dementia or other cognitive impairments requires infinite patience and constant attention, which can be frustrating and overwhelming. Many caregivers wish to see their older loved ones through and are motivated to provide as much care to their older relatives as possible. Despite such high motivation to care, their strains may elevate to a point where their mental and physical health is compromised, which is when nursing home placements are considered.


    Caregivers may also feel isolated and burnt out, as they often have to sacrifice socialising with friends and family or their interests.  This can spiral into depression and anxiety, further exacerbating their struggles.


    The financial burden is another challenge that elderly caregivers may grapple with, especially those who are retired and living on a fixed income.  In other words, their financial resources, whether from their own children or governmental subsidies, are often shared with their older loved ones. The study mentioned above showed that 83.2% of caregivers had a monthly income below $30,000, and 70.5% of respondents earned below the poverty line of $20,000 for a 4-person household (CSD, 2020).  48.3% of caregivers expressed financial pressure.


    So, what can be done to aid elderly caregivers facing these problems? Here are a few suggestions:


    1)            Seeking out community resources, including respite care, support groups, and counselling services.  Elderly caregivers should also reach out to family and friends for help, as small gestures can make a big difference.


    2)            It is also essential for caregivers to prioritise their health and well-being by taking time for themselves, pursuing hobbies and interests, or getting mental health support when needed.  Caregivers who look after themselves are better equipped to watch over their loved ones in the long run.


    3)            Sometimes, it may be necessary to hire a professional caregiver to assist with the needs of a loved one.  With the advance in technology, some products help, such as fall prevention equipment and health-monitoring smart devices. Caregiver subsidies or financial subsidies for using Gerontechnology in the community would help.


    Taking care of an elderly loved one can be arduous and emotionally draining, particularly for caregivers themselves, seniors.  By seeking out available resources, asking for help from family and friends, being mindful of self-care, and appraising professional assistance, elderly caregivers can get the support they need to navigate the challenges and provide the best care possible for their loved ones.


    And now I have a song I'd like to dedicate to all of you listening. My song is: You’ve Got a Friend by Carole King



    04/06/2023 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    04/06/2023 - Katie Wong, Chief Officer (Elderly Service) The Hong Kong Council of Social Service