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Yogeswari Chanjer

Yogeswari Chanjer

Lecturer, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, 2009
International House

Limkokwing University was the ideal university for me to teach in because it opened its doors to hearing-impaired students. The University is very receptive towards the deaf, providing the students with proper facilities and learning tools.

07 January 2009

Strength in a Silent World

Written by Christine Chan

Robbed of her hearing since she was ten years old, Yogeswari Chanjer first discovered that she had become deaf during an oral examination when she was in Form 5. Today, she touches the lives of hearing-impaired students in Malaysia and the world. Christine Chan reports.

Yogeswari Chanjer began to lose her hearing after she was struck by fever when she was ten years old.  At seventeen, Yogeswari became almost completely deaf.

However, physical obstacles have proven to be poor obstacles for Yogeswari. Armed with skills in lip reading and a lot of determination, Yogeswari now works with hearing-impaired students at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, where she realizes her dreams of empowering these students in order to stay competitive and on par with the rest of the world.

“The students have to work doubly hard in the world today. They must not think about what they can’t do or can’t achieve,  rather they need to see things in a positive perspective of what they can do.  The options are countless if they try hard enough,” said Yogeswari, who teaches 20 hearing-impaired students at the University.

The students have to work doubly hard in the world today. They must not think about what they can’t do or can’t achieve, rather they need to see things in a positive perspective of what they can do. The options are countless if they try hard enough

Yogeswari has no delusions about the difficulties faced by her students and admits that it is a tough world for the hearing-impaired. “In the real world, disabled students face intense competition. Job opportunities that are open for them usually belong to the blue-collar category.”

She insists that the realities of the world should not drag the hopes of the hearing-impaired down.  Young people with hearing impediment need to open their eyes to other careers that need little vocal communication, in fields such as graphic, interior or architectural design that fully utilizes their visual sense as opposed to their vocal senses.

“These fields can pave a way for them to success,” she affirms.

Yogeswari was the only deaf student who graduated with a UK-based Legal Secretary Degree from the Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (MAICSA) in 1997. During her course of study, she worked as a part-time journalist for Men’s Review and was promoted to the position of Assistant Editor in 1994 before becoming the magazine’s Editor the following year.

She then crossed over to Malaysia Design magazine, where she served as Head Editor. A year later, she became the Sub-Editor of The Sun Media Corporation Sdn. Bhd.

Yogeswari is determined to prove that being hearing-impaired does not translate to being impaired in the world. Following the footsteps of Tan Yap, current adviser to The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf in Selangor and Federal Territory and the ‘Father’  of deaf education in Malaysia, she pursues her lifelong passion of teaching and aiding those who suffer from hearing impediments.

Equipping herself with teaching skills and methods designed specifically to help students who are hearing-impaired, Yogeswari teaches courses at a cued speech school located at Kampung Pandan and the English language course for hearing-impaired students at Limkokwing University.

Limkokwing University was the ideal university for me to teach in because it opened its doors to hearing-impaired students. The University is very receptive towards the deaf, providing the students with proper facilities and learning tools.

“Limkokwing University was the ideal university for me to teach in because it opened its doors to hearing-impaired students. The University is very receptive towards the deaf, providing the students with proper facilities and learning tools.”

Yogeswari believes that it is important that hearing-impaired students are trained to reduce their reliance on their surroundings at others, and that Limkokwing University allows them to do that. “We teach them to be independent, focusing on developing their skills, their ability to communicate and most importantly improve their proficiency in the English language.”

Introducing the cued speech learning method in the University, Yogeswari uses hand symbols while speaking to improve accuracy of pronunciation of the students’ speech. “By mastering the English language, these students will be able to communicate and comprehend information or instructions that are written down,” she explains.

“In due time they will be able to perform just as progressively as those who can hear,” said Yogeswari.

Yogeswari is optimistic about the future for hearing-impaired students in the country due to the advancement of technological aids for them. However, she feels that there are some challenges that have yet to be overcome.

Many hearing-impaired young people are resistant to learning speech and refuse to use hearing aids,  or they may not even have access to these necessities in the first place.  Yogeswari hopes that the Malaysian government will increase the allowances given to the hearing-impaired so that they can attend speech therapy courses and buy hearing aids.

On top of that,  Yogeswari acknowledges that the greatest challenge for the hearing-impaired still lies in the very world that they find themselves in. She believes that the private sector and the general populace ought to be more receptive towards the hearing-impaired population, and be willing to embrace these individuals not as the handicapped, but as champions.

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