Theresa Poh Lin Chan

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Chan Poh Lin (born 1945?), also known as Theresa Poh Lin Chan, is a writer, teacher, and one-time actor.[1] Born in Singapore, she was known in her youth as "the Helen Keller of Southeast Asia", as a reference to indicate that, like Keller, Chan is a highly accomplished deaf and blind person.[2] Chan has been deaf since age 12,[3] and deafblind since age 14.[4]

In the United States, Poh Lin Chan was educated at the Perkins School for the Blind[2] where she learned to understand and speak English and read Braille as well as dance, ice skate, knit, and horseback ride.[4] While a student in the US, she attended the funeral of Helen Keller.[2]

She is the subject of a 1964 BBC radio documentary, "Child of the Silent Night: The story of Chan Poh Lin" by Stephen Grenfell. She also starred in the feature film, Be with Me (2005), a Singaporean movie in three parts. Chan is credited as a writer for the film as well,[5] considered because her writings about her life were part of the inspiration for the film.


  1. ^ Holden, Stephen. Movie Review: Be With Me: "Three Tales Revolving Around a Real Life", The New York Times, 29 September 2006.
  2. ^ a b c Herrmann, Dorothy. Helen Keller: A Life, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1998. ISBN 0-679-44354-1
  3. ^ Wilmington, Michael. "Review for Be With Me", Chicago Tribune, 27 August 2007.
  4. ^ a b Production Notes for Be with Me
  5. ^ Be with Me at the Internet Movie Database

Further reading[edit]

  • Morgenstern, Joseph. "Chan Poh Lin, The Chinese Girl Of Eighteen, Who Can Neither See Nor Hear", World Health magazine, March–April 1962, pp. 29–31.

External links[edit]