Home' A Plus Magazine : Dec 2012 Contents December 2012 45
many certificates and awards on the walls
of their home. They are very smart," says
Cheng. "But, they might not have the chance
to study abroad or even study in university. I
think we can do more to help them."
Breaking silent barriers
For Dominic Ho, senior audit associate at
Grant Thornton and an Institute member,
his first charitable act happened rather ser-
endipitously. About 15 years ago, when Ho
was 10 years old, the Ho family's financial
problems meant his mother had to take on
a part-time job as a babysitter for infants in
the neighbourhood. It was during this time
that Ho met a little girl who would change
his life -- one-year-old Jenny Chiu, who was
born to deaf parents.
Ho realized that to connect with Chiu he
had to help her learn spoken and sign lan-
guage to communicate with her family and
the outside world. That inspired him to go on
to get a certificate in sign language, which he
modestly points to, and become a member
of the Hong Kong Association of the Deaf
where he helps other children like Chiu.
"I try to create a channel that can harmo-
nize relationships between deaf children and
other children by teaching them beginner
sign language that they can use when com-
municating with each other," he explains.
It is with the help of Ho and others like him
that the Hong Kong Association of the Deaf
has successfully removed so many stigmas
attached to those with hearing disabilities.
About a decade ago, says Ho, there wasn't
much willingness for people to learn or un-
derstand those with hearing disabilities.
"Nowadays, because deaf people have
more tools to communicate with other people,
there is a more understanding atmosphere,"
he says. "There is also government funding
and there are job opportunities for them."
The association encourages those with
hearing disabilities to participate in public
activities, such as the annual Hong Kong
marathon. These events are not only fun and
healthy for the runners, but also bring the is-
sue of hearing disability into the wider public
Today, Ho still keeps in touch with Chiu,
now 16, who he thinks of as a younger sis-
ter. Though he doesn't get to see her often
because her family has moved to a different
neighbourhood, there is always Facebook, he
"I try to create
a channel that
other children by
Dominic Ho with Jenny Chiu
PHOTO: SAMANTHA SIN
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