Champions of the deaf
CINDY LEONG & ROSE NG – Malaysians – Silent Teddies Bakery (Interviewd in 2017)
Community Service Centre for the Deaf (CSCD)
Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (S.I.D.)
CINDY WAS INSPIRED TO HELP THE DEAF FROM A young age. Growing up in a house where the deaf were welcomed by her mother, she was inspired to work with them in her professional life.
Rose, on the other hand, met Tan Yap, who was instrumental in introducing sign language to
Malaysia. This would influence her greatly. She subsequently joined the Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (S.I.D.) in the 80s.
Cindy and Rose met at S.I.D. Together, they would set-up the Community Service Centre for the Deaf (CSCD); a provider of free education for deaf students.
Even with an education, it is difficult for students who are deaf to find work in the corporate sector. Cindy and Rose felt that vocational training might be the answer to providing a better future for their students. The Silent Teddies Bakery, a social enterprise was then set up in 2010 to provide training.
Surprisingly, it was the Latin American Ladies Association of Malaysia who were the first to
support the project with baking equipment and donations. Today, there are 10 students training at the bakery. As the bakery is managed as a social enterprise, wages for the bakers are paid out of profits from sales.
Cindy and Rose are doing their part in ensuring that the deaf have a career they can be proud of.