February 19th, 2016:

[News] Meet the SENIA Advocacy Honorary Awardees 2016

The SENIA Advocacy Award is an annual search for exceptional persons or institutions who advocate for people with special needs in their community in the Asian region. The winner of the SENIA Advocacy Award for 2016 is Dato’ Dr. Amar-Singh of Malaysia.

There are many excellent nominees who also received the SENIA Advocacy Honorary Award citation. It is our privilege to present to you the other SENIA Advocacy Award nominees who inspire many with their lives and their advocacy. Meet the SENIA Advocacy Honorary Award 2016 recipients.

Yammy Ang with a Wings Melaka graduate

Yammy Ang, SENIA Advocacy Honorary Awardee 2016, with a Wings Melaka graduate

Ms. Yammy Ang is founding member, Chairperson from 1999 to 2010 and the current Advisor of Wings Melaka, a non-profit organization that aims to provide training, counseling, support and information for children with learning disabilities and their families. Over the years, Wings Melaka has touched the lives of more than 400 children. According to a survey done in 2005, 75% of the children who underwent the Early Intervention Program successfully entered mainstream primary schools or special needs classes. Yammy Ang has also lobbied for the rights of persons with learning disabilities through UNICEF, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and The Bar council of Malaysia. She has brought attention to the plight of the special needs community by bringing up these issues to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

Katherine Ho Tsui Mee

Katherine Ho Tsui Mee, SENIA Advocacy Honorary Awardee 2016

Ms. Katherine Ho Tsui Mee is the Founder, Chairperson and Director of Services for Special Needs of Bright Stars Special Needs Charity Association. Bright Star is a non-profit organization which provides outreach programs for learning disabilities  special needs children, teens and adults. The organization provides training towards work independence, income sustainability, self-help, living skills among others. Katherine advocates to ensure that the special needs community are included in community building by providing job opportunities and financial assistance for start-ups. Her efforts in engaging organizations in improving the lives of persons with special needs are shown through her productive programs on social entrepreneurship and job creation.  Her advocacy work has allowed her to represent Malaysia in various national and international exchanges about special needs.

Dayal Nandwani, SENIA Honorary Advocacy Awardee 2016

Dayal Nandwani, SENIA Advocacy Honorary Awardee 2016

Mr. Dayal Nandwani is the inspiring man behind Stepping Stone, a school that caters to the special needs children in the Philippines. From its beginnings as a Rotary Club project, Stepping Stone has become one of the most respected special education schools in the country. Dayal was able to raise funds to support the operations of the school and even provide scholarships to students with special learning needs who would otherwise have no access to special needs programs. He was also able to secure grants for a pre-vocational course for adult students. The programs offered in Stepping Stone has become a benchmark for other schools to emulate. Dayal also emphasizes advocacy for special needs. He is a member of the Autism Society of the Philippines, Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Council for Exceptional Children, and SEAMEO among others. Dayal’s passionate vision for special needs is shown through his hard work and tenacity.

Larry Aguirre, SENIA Honorary Advocacy Awardee 2016

Larry Aguirre, SENIA Advocacy Honorary  Awardee 2016

Mr. Laureano “Larry” Aguirre is a full-time classroom assistant at One World School Philippines. As a person who has special needs himself, Larry has successfully transitioned from being a special needs student to a special needs teaching assistant. As a role model of a gainfully employed person with special needs, Larry has become an inspiration for those he serves ad those he works with. To get an idea of how Larry inspires, watch this video.

SENIM Board, SENIA Honorary Advocacy Awardees 2016

SENIM Board, SENIA Advocacy Honorary Awardees 2016

SENIM (SENIA Malaysia) is one of the youngest SENIA chapters in Asia. In just three years, SENIM has achieved high respect for their efforts in raising awareness and encouraging collaboration in Malaysia. The work that the SENIM Board initiated is significant in building a network of parents, teachers, special needs practitioners and other advocates for special needs. Through their conferences, coffee mornings and other events, SENIM has grown into the successful network it is today.

Congratulations to all the SENIA Honorary Advocacy Awardees for 2016!