#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

    Maggie Lee, Executive Director of Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association

    “File does not exist” …….

    “This file is corrupted and cannot be opened” …….

    These may be common problems in our daily computer use.

    Then how about the brains of people with dementia? Memory and the files in their brain are always broken and difficult to recall.


    Dementia is a degenerative disease of the brain. The deterioration usually starts very slowly, being forgetful at first. Eventually, it can develop into obvious memory loss, inability to self-care, being lost, not recognising loved ones and forgetting important moments in life.

     “Who are you?”, “Where am I?” are heartbreaking questions but repeated by people with dementia at every moment. Please remember, Dementia is not normal ageing, but a disease that causes memories to fade from the recent to distant past.


    In Hong Kong, about 10% of people over the age of 65 live with dementia, and over the age of 85 is as high as one-third. We all know that Hong Kong is facing an ageing population and the prevalence of dementia will sharply increase. There are currently about hundred and fifty thousand people living with dementia in Hong Kong. The number will double in the next 15 years. However, is Hong Kong ready for the silver tsunami?


    The development of a comprehensive plan for dementia care by our policymakers would be the crucial way out for our future. Countries or cities around us, such as China, Macau, Singapore, and Japan, have already developed national plans to prepare society for the challenges. But we are still in its infancy.


    “Never too Early, Never too Late” is the theme of World Alzheimer’s Month this year. We aim to arouse everyone’s importance on risk reduction in delaying and potentially preventing the onset of dementia. I think policy planning should also be “never too early, never too late”, We need to take action before family caregivers, and our health and social care systems collapse.


    Different interventions are effective in dementia management. It is imperative to grasp the golden opportunity in the earliest stage. Unfortunately, the diagnostic rate of dementia has remained at only 10% for the past few decades. That means the majority of the people living with dementia are still without proper interventions and support.



    Memory problems in the early stage can easily be mistaken as signs of normal ageing. Neither the people with dementia nor their families and friends realize it until more obvious problems happen in their daily lives.  Moreover, family size in Hong Kong is getting smaller and there are more and more childless couples, early symptoms may go unnoticed if people do not interact closely in day-to-day life.


    Public education to increase awareness of early signs of dementia, easily accessible diagnostic services, and shorten waiting time, all of these should be put into action.


    Dementia is referred to as the “long goodbye”, our beloved seems to be becoming a stranger slowly. In my 20 years of walking with families, I know too well how frustrating it can be when a loved one has dementia. But I keep encouraging the families to appreciate what our beloved can still do and remember, and try to keep them for as long as possible. We may worry about the next deterioration coming, but while waiting for the future, what deserves more attention is the current him/her.


    If you or your beloved are living with dementia, don’t give up. Drugs can help. Different brain-stimulating activities and caring techniques can ease the symptoms or slow down the deterioration. Equipment and technology can help to make life easier. We are here to walk through it with you. You are not alone, just let us know.


    If you are healthy, congratulations, but remember “Never too early, Never too late”, take actions to reduce the risk factors of dementia. A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, healthy and balanced diet, stay mentally and socially active. All these can help. Please remember to use and keep your brain active or you will lose it.


    September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign initiated by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) to raise awareness and remove the stigma of dementia. As the sole member of ADI in Hong Kong, we invite you to join us in caring about the brain health of your families, neighbours and friends, supporting those living with dementia around you and seeing if we can help.


    Finally, I’d like to dedicate the song “I'm Not Gonna Miss You” by Glen Campbell to all people with dementia and their caregivers. The disease may take the memory, but not of the love you share and cherish.


    17/09/2023 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    17/09/2023 - Maggie Lee, Executive Director of Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association