February 1st, 2016:

[News] Dato’ Dr. Amar-Singh wins SENIA Advocacy Award 2016

2Dato’ Dr. Amar-Singh of Malaysia is the SENIA Advocacy Award winner for 2016. The SENIA Advocacy Award celebrates the achievements of a student, adult or group who encourages awareness and advocates for the aspirations of people with disabilities. The award honors those who exemplify the vision mission of SENIA, which is to advocate in behalf of exceptional people in Asia.

Dato’ Dr. Amar-Singh is an exceptional man who has dedicated his life to working with persons with disabilities. For the past 25 years, Dato’ Dr. Amar-Singh has tirelessly worked with children and parents of various types of disabilities. He is the current president of the National Early Children Intervention Council (NECIC) in Malaysia, the senior consultant, community paediatrician and head of the paediatric department of the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun in Ipoh and the head of the Clinical Research Centre in Perak state.

Dato’ Dr. Amar-Singh’s advocacy for special needs spans many fruitful years. He has initiated and developed registered associations for people with disabilities including the National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC), the Association of the Network for the Needs of Children with Disabilities, and Pertubuham Ibu Bapa Kanak Kanak Keperluan Instimewa Sarawak. He has also initiated informal family support groups for various disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Dato’ Dr. Amar-Singh’s committed work has made him a respected expert and consultant for various international organizations. He has participated in dialogues with senior officials from the Ministry of Education in Malaysia and UNICEF.

His life work is truly remarkable and an inspiration to special education practitioners worldwide.

Im-Amar-KS Forest reserve 2011a

Congratulations, Dato’ Dr. Amar-Singh!
Dato’ Dr. Amar-Singh with his lovely wife.

[News] Tobin Zolkowski wins SENIA Student Award 2016

1Tobin Zolkowski, a student of Jakarta International School (JIS), is the winner of the SENIA Student Award 2016. The SENIA Student Award honors a student with a disability who excels and advocates for the aspirations of children and youth with disabilities in Asia.

Tobin is a strong advocate for the Deaf community. As the only student in his school with a hearing disability, Tobin actively worked to break down barriers and raise awareness for the Deaf. He advocates for himself by standing in front of an assembly of 900 during his first day of 10th grade. He shared his story and encouraged students to interact with him and learn a few signs to communicate with him. He founded an American Sign Language club for students and teachers, which attracted more than 90 members in its first year. He has provided American Sign Language translation for two eBooks which are available commercially including Alistair the Armadillo and Aste the Slowest CheetahTobin is also creating an online course to teach Indonesian Sign Language. Further advancing his advocacy, Tobin serves as an ASL interpreter during workshops with the National Association of the Deaf.

Tobin’s strength of character and advocacy has inspired those around him. A classmate said: “I am so thankful I’ve known Tobin as a classmate and friend for the past 5 years. I’ve come to learn how natural it is to be around someone who speaks sign language and how much he can teach others. He has helped me understand that just because someone
is different, it doesn’t mean they don’t have something important to offer.” One of his teachers expressed that: “Tobin’s resilience, dedication and advocacy are second to none.”

Congratulations Tobin Zolkowski! We look forward to meeting you at SENIA 2016 at the International School Kuala Lumpur!

[Chapter News] SENIA Japan to hold first annual conference!

SENIA Japan will be holding its first annual conference on April 30, 2016 at the Canadian Academy, Kobe Japan. We encourage all special educators to attend this historic event!