LAURENT CLERC CULTURAL FUND
GALLAUDET COLLEGE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
ALUMNI OFFICE, GALLAUDENT COLLEGE
WASHINGSTON D.C. 20002
The Gallaudet College Alumni Association
EDWARDS MINER GALLAUDET AWARD
For international leaders working to promote the well- being of deaf people of the world
Mr. Tan Yap
Mr. Tan Yap, a retired government pharmacist, has been hailed as the “Father of the Deaf” in Malaysia. He has been an advocate of the deaf for fifteen years, concentrating on their social welfare, obtaining jobs for them, educating them, interpreting for them and encouraging others to help him further their cause.
Mr. Tan Yap is one of the first Malaysians to receive formal training in work with the deaf. He attended courses in deaf counseling at several institutions in the United States, Gallaudet among them. He also travelled world-wide to observe the education of deaf children.
His many accomplishments include the establishment of four schools for the deaf, into which he introduced the use of sign language. He invented signs appropriate for use in his multi-racial country and is now working on the sign language based on the Malaysian national language. He was also instrumental in obtaining government incorporation of sign language into its former oral method to teaching deaf, resulting in the system of Total Communication in use today. In recognition of his work, the Malaysian Ministry of Education invited him to give in-service courses in sign language for all teachers of the deaf in Malaysia.
Tan Yap’s concern for the deaf went beyond their education to encompass social, economic and religious needs as well. He persuaded civic groups, such as the Jaycees, Rotarians and Lions to help him form Societies for the Deaf, and several Deaf Clubs. He himself began a Sunday Class for the Deaf to instill religious consciousness in Non-Muslim deaf children. By lecturing various organizations on the rightful place of deaf in society, he managed to obtain jobs for 89 of his former students.
All of this immense amount of endeavor was achieved on a voluntary basis. After working hours, using his own resources and energy. Mr. Tan Yap has became an esteemed guide and leader for the deaf and those who wish to work with them in Malaysia.
In recognition of this long labor of love, the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund is honored to present the Edward Miner Gallaudet award, for an international hearing or deaf leader working to promote the well-being of the deaf of the world, to Mr. Tan Yap, in absentia.
FOR THE CULTURAL ADVANCEMENT OF THE DEAF COMMUNITY