My name is Heng Yee Haw, and I am from Malaysia. I became deaf when I was 3 years old because of a high fever. After graduating from Deaf secondary school, I was not really interested in the Malaysian Deaf community. I first began to get involved in the Deaf community through my Deaf Catholic church in 2007. I was the Deaf Treasurer of the REACH Core Team Catholic for the Deaf Community for 6 months in 2008. I was active with our Deaf Catholic members through REACH.
A few months later, I started to learn about language teaching methods and techniques from a Deaf instructor who taught hearing students. Then I was able to be an instructor for teaching basic sign language at YMCA Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. I also had the opportunity to be part of the Duskin Leadership Training in Japan in 2008 – 2009. It was a good experience, and helped me to become more positive and strong.
After returning to Malaysia, I attended a MySign course class related to sign linguistics. I also participated in the Malaysia Interpreter Education Seminar as a volunteer. Lastly, The Nippon Foundation selected me to participate in the Deaf Dialogue event at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I am really thankful to the Nippon Foundation for giving me an opportunity to learn new things and increase my knowledge.