Theresa Poh Lin Chan

Birthplace: Singapore


Chan Poh Lin, also known as Theresa Poh Lin Chan, is a writer, teacher, and one-time actor. 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. Chan has been deaf since age 12, and deafblind since age 14.
In the United States, Poh Lin Chan was educated at the Perkins School for the Blind where she learned to understand and speak English and read Braille as well as dance, ice skate, knit, and horseback ride. While a student in the US, she attended the funeral of Helen Keller.
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, a Singaporean movie in three parts. Chan is credited as a writer for the film as well, considered because her writings about her life were part of the inspiration for the film.