Theresa Poh Lin Chan

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Chan Poh Lin (9 July 1943 – 6 June 2016),[1] better known as Theresa Poh Lin Chan, was a Singaporean writer and teacher.[2] Born in Singapore, she was known in her youth as "the Helen Keller of Southeast Asia", as, like Keller, Chan was a highly accomplished deaf and blind person.[3] Chan has been deaf since age 12,[4] and deafblind since age 14.[5]

In the United States, Poh Lin Chan was educated at the Perkins School for the Blind[3] where she learned to understand and speak English and read Braille as well as dance, ice skate, knit, and horseback ride.[5] While a student in the US, she attended the funeral of Helen Keller.[3]

She was 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,[6] considered because her writings about her life were part of the inspiration for the film.


  1. ^ Theresa Chan, Singapore's Helen Keller, dies after battle with lung cancer
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen. Movie Review: Be With Me: "Three Tales Revolving Around a Real Life", The New York Times, 29 September 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Herrmann, Dorothy. Helen Keller: A Life, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1998. ISBN 0-679-44354-1
  4. ^ Wilmington, Michael. "Review for Be With Me", Chicago Tribune, 27 August 2007.
  5. ^ a b Production Notes for Be with Me
  6. ^ 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]