In the Chinese context, social work refers to work conducted by NGOs to address social issues and promote community well-being.
In Dongguan, Guangdong Province, social workers are driving a transformative change by providing sign language translation services for the hearing-impaired. This initiative requires collaboration between NGOs, government departments, and public venues to create a more inclusive environment.
The project began with coordination between social workers and the relevant department of the Disabled Persons’ Federation, gaining their support in December 2021. The first step involved organizing existing certified sign language interpreters in Dongguan to form a talent pool. Additionally, new sign language volunteers were cultivated based on the urgent demand for translation services in public places.
Through large-scale sign language training activities conducted in collaboration with the Disabled Persons’ Federation and the Deaf Persons’ Association, over 100 volunteers acquired basic sign language skills. This led to the establishment of the municipal sign language volunteer service alliance, known as the accessible service demonstration posts.
These posts are strategically placed in citizen service centers, providing inclusive services such as appointment processing, guidance, consultation, and home visits for the hearing-impaired population.
To ensure the sustainability of the initiative, the social workers collaborated with the Municipal Administration of Government Services and Data to establish a solid service platform. This platform allows disabled individuals to directly reserve accessible volunteer services through the citizen service center’s official WeChat account and mini-program.
The success of the Accessible Service Demonstration Posts project not only improves the accessibility service system but also empowers disabled individuals to actively participate in shaping their environment.
By involving disabled individuals as agents of change and partnering with NGOs and community organizations, social workers are driving the implementation of accessibility services in a broader context.
This initiative serves as a valuable model for other regions, showcasing the power of social work conducted by NGOs to create inclusive and empowering environments for individuals with disabilities.
By breaking down communication barriers, the project in Dongguan sets a precedent for enhancing accessibility and promoting social inclusion in Chinese society.