Know Your Voice
My batchmate, Indran Arumugam is a hearing impaired person who expressed his feeling and story about how the deaf community is being left out especially during the pandemic within the society. Masks had become a hindrance for him to lip read because sign language is not normalised which makes it hard for him to even communicate. We would like to help break communication barriers as well as the deaf stereotypes and to hopefully normalise Malaysian sign language to undergraduates.We would like to help the deaf community by having multiple virtual webinars educating and training undergraduates the basic Malaysian sign language.Virtual webinars will be taught by my team members and I with the guidance and advice from a certified Malaysian sign language tutor, Mr. Mohd Armi from #SIGNON.
Overview of Issue / Background
My batchmate, Indran Arumugam is a hearing impaired person who expressed his feeling and story about how the deaf community is being left out especially during the pandemic within the society. Masks had become a hindrance for him to lip read because sign language is not normalised which makes it hard for him to even communicate. We would like to help break communication barriers as well as the deaf stereotypes and to hopefully normalise Malaysian sign language to undergraduates.
We would like to help the deaf community by having multiple virtual webinars educating and training undergraduates the basic Malaysian sign language.Virtual webinars will be taught by my team members and I with the guidance and advice from a certified Malaysian sign language tutor, Mr. Mohd Armi from #SIGNON.
Project Objectives (Vision & Mission)
- To provide quality education through virtually educating undergraduates in advocating and educating the basic Malaysian sign language.
- To create awareness through webinars and social media in order to break communication barriers and deaf stereotypes in creating an inclusive society.
- To build skilled undergraduates that can sign basic Malaysian sign language in creating an inclusive environment at Universities and helping the deaf community from being left out in the community.
Project Details (Activities and Tasks)
- Tutor and Advisor : We will work with Mr Mohd Armi from #SIGNON, who is a hearing impaired person and is a certified Malaysia sign language tutor who has been advocating to normalise Malaysian sign language. Mr Mohd Armi will be guiding us along the journey.
- Community Engagement : Connect and engage with student representative organizations and club for disabled community from each of 13 Public Universities.
- Website Development : Building a website to communicate our message and build audiences effectively about all webinars that will be conducted along with the registration as well as to share information and updates about opportunities for the deaf community. This includes uplifting and promoting talented deaf communities inspiring stories and details. Recruitment basis of the next cohort will take place through the website as well.
- Zoom Platform : Conducting virtual webinars through Zoom platform to teach basic Malysian sign language to all Public University Malaysian undergraduates.
- Feedback & Learning through GamiLab : Creating personalised games free to gamify teaching and create fun, engaging and interactive sessions virtually during each session. GamiLab helps the host track player results, progress and score list in the games for our reference.
Expected Project Result & Outcomes
- At least one member in each family understands, acknowledges and knows the basic Malaysian sign language.
- Undergraduates in Malaysia are able to learn and sign the basic sign language with the deaf community not only at University but all over Malaysia in creating an inclusive society.
0% of RM1.00 Goal
|Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
|Project leader name
|Kirtanac A/P M Genason
|Project implementation date
|Location of project held
|Malaysian Federation of the Deaf (MFD), Tadika Istika Jaya (deaf children), Malaysian undergraduates and the deaf community.
|Number of beneficiaries
|163 Students, 4 Lecturers and 9 deaf tutors.
- Project Goals:
To highlight the deaf community in Malaysia, eliminating the deaf stereotypes, breaking down the communication barriers and educating youth about the deaf culture as well as Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia (BIM), the Malaysian Sign Language.
Fund-raising support & Other external sponsorship:
- Crowdfunding raised RM 900
- How the project work?
- Project Flow Summary:
- Received 75% Grant from Khind Starfish Foundation
- Crowdfunded the remaining money to support the project
- Received 75% Grant from Khind Starfish Foundation
- Project Flow Summary:
- 9 July – 15 July
Crowdfunding Campaign (The first to initiative the RM1 Campaign concept)
- 15 July – 17 Sept Oct
Consultation with many deaf non-profit organizations. Reached out to Malaysian Federation of the Deaf (MFD) lastly, for the arrangement of deaf tutors & translators
- 31 Oct – 12 Nov
Reached out to honorable speakers and received response from a representative of ASEAN Foundation, President of MFD and UMT. Purchase domain and website development.
- 18 oct 2021
Opened registration for facilitators and participants
- 18 oct, midnight
Registration closed. More than the maximum number of students registered in less than a few hours.
- 23 Oct 2021
The launch of Project Know Your Voice and BIM workshop was conducted.
- 24-27 oct
Feedback from participants collected through google form
- 9 july -27 nov
Awards and recognition from SEA-U Icon 2021, Monstar Awards 2021, ASEAN Foundation & UMT.
- January 2022
In preparation to launch the next cohort of Know Your Voice 2021 and expanding throughout ASEAN.
- Hearing people ought to not teach BIM, thus lack of guidance and support.
- Time consuming on receiving consultations from different non-profit organization.
- Extra time in experimenting construction methods because most of the participants are first-timers in engaging in live-build projects.
- Language or cultural barriers
There is a communication barrier between my project team with the deaf tutors. We got help from the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf for translators support for every meeting held including the transition for conducting the workshop.
- Beneficial person
Malaysian Federation of the Deaf and the participants. Malaysian Federation of the Deaf (MDF) benefit to achieve their goal to spread more awareness about the deaf community in legal manner. Deaf community to improve their livelihoods through publications and lessening communication barriers help them being more accepted into the society. Participants to able to converse through the basic BIM workshops conducted especially deaf students at institutions.
Project Know Your Voice received international recognition from ASEAN Foundation all the way to awards and honours. There is a discussion to launch Know Your Voice in Indonesia in collaboration with Indonesia Banking School and to open the next cohort to continue this meaningful mission. Know Your Voice to get endorsement from ASEAN Foundation to continue its mission throughout ASEAN. Each country in breaking communication barriers between the dead community and the society, educating and spreading awareness as well as creating a better diverse safer place for the deaf community amid pandemic.
How does or will your project contribute to happiness? Short-term? Long-term?
This project is going to break the cycle of barriers. Social barriers, communication barriers, stereotypes, and preserving the deaf culture as well as their identity. It gives them much joy that this project has equipped participated with the necessity basic knowledge about Malaysian sign language/BIM and better understanding about the deaf community.
Short term, highlighting and addressing every simple issues that causes huge gap in the society such as stereotypes of the deaf people and the hard of hearing as well as their livelihoods. Long-term: the hearing people being able to communicate and navigate sign language with the deaf community anywhere, everywhere in Malaysia. Building a diverse, happy and connecting society for the deaf community. No one is left out, Inclusivity for all.
Has your project changed the way you think about the world? How has it changed you?
Project Know Your Voice made me understand how the deaf community has been left out and is way behind by the society especially amid pandemic. This project has been significantly meaningful that it spreads awareness about how, we as hearing people are privileged with hearing and communicating abilities and are taught from school curriculum to communicate with the deaf. Thus, communication and social barriers have left them suffered from not being able to communicate and express themselves in the society. This project started out as a pilot project, in conducting basic BIM workshops that is able to equip hearing people (university students) as the upcoming generation to break the cycle of barriers. This project highlighted several stereotypes and more in-depth knowledge that we, as a art of the community, should be more considerate about.
" If you manage to kickstart this, look for ASEAN Foundation, we will endorse it for you. IT it a good initiative, all the best.”
Dr Yang Mee Eng, Exeucutive Director of ASEAN Director
" Speaking in sign language necessitates complete concentration and focus on the person speaking.The number of words that can be used as keywords is less than the number of words that can be sorted. So by this, will make us a better listeners.
Indran Arumugam, Deaf Student
"It is an amazing initiative, and I am looking forward for the impact and collaboration in Indonesia.”
Ms Astrid Rehulina, ASEAN Foundation Consultant
“Communication platform need to be inclusive and accessible within the society. a project by youth, for youth in building an inclusive society”
Dr Isma Rosila binti Ismail, Project Advisor
"communication skills with the deaf are very important to give them the opportunity to voice their opinion.”
Muhammad Nur Hafiz Bin Razali, Founder of UMT Student Disability Club