Honouring our pioneers: Ms Tan Keng Ying

Ms Tan Keng Ying received the SADeaf Lifetime Achievement Award (Posthumous) during the annual Deaf Achievers’ Award Day held in conjunction with the IWPD (International Week of Deaf People) 2021.  

The graphic shows a black and white photo of Ms Tan Keng Ying, which is smiling and waving. She has a short cropped hairstyle and wears glasses. The text is one of her quotations: "I am not much different from others who can hear and talk. I can try to do what they do, if not better."
We will always keep her in memory.

The following is the citation for the award.

The late Ms Tan Keng Ying was a dedicated volunteer with SADeaf, serving the Deaf community in various ways and capacities over three decades. Among the positions in which she served were as SADeaf Vice-President, SADeaf Executive Council Member, being a member of Social Group of the Deaf (formerly known as Sports and Recreational Club of the Deaf), as well as being involved in numerous other committees focussing on advocacy, Deaf access and sports. 

Through the years, Keng Ying was nominated and sent to represent Singapore, in an official capacity, in international Deaf events such as World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) World Congress and International Conference of the WFD. She also took the initiative to attend some of these events on a personal basis, and at her own expense, to network and build ties with fellow Deaf advocates and friends overseas. 

Keng Ying had been a steadfast and selfless volunteer who stood by SADeaf and maintained a positive outlook through tumultuous times. Well-liked and respected among the Deaf community for her personality and commitment, she was always available to undertake tasks big and small, from being a Deaf tour guide to filming publicity videos to organising SADeaf events, among countless other acts of service.

Keng Ying also had the distinction of being one of the relatively small number of Singaporeans who graduated from Gallaudet University in the United States, the only university for the Deaf in the world.

Besides her long service with SADeaf, Keng Ying also actively served with other organisations. She was a board member of the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) and Deaf Sports Association (Singapore).

Watch the full video of our online Deaf Achievers’ Awards ceremony here!

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