AT TAYLOR'S: Professor Simon Williams (SimonJohn.Williams@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Refer 'Partners' section

As Life Found Me is the follow up project to Almost Home. While our first effort focused on the refugee community, our second project focused on the special needs community in Malaysia. Our student team of English language learners from Taylor’s Language Centre approached two organisations: Dual Blessings and OrKids. On two separate occasions the students visited these organisations, learned about the work that they did and engaged in learning activities, including teaching languages, such as English, Korean, and Russian. In the case of Orkids, a school for children with Down’s Syndrome, the students taught arts and crafts. Finally students interviewed those who were participants in that organisation and recorded their stories.

With a number of stories in hand, and other staff members from Taylor’s University, a number of writers gathered together to develop the raw interviews into stories. Once again, Hafiz Zamri from the Design School and his students started work on illustrating the stories, following a visit to Dual Blessings to see first-hand the amazing work that they do. After six months it was time to begin the design and layout of book, under the capable guidance of Tai Li Lian from the Design School. 

It was also at this time that students decided to create an audio book to accompany the text. With help from the School of Communications, and the voice talents of students from ADP, we managed to record, edit and produce our first audio CD book. Our new book, entitled As Life Found Me, was officially launched on 13th May 2015 by former Miss Malaysia and World Vision Spokeswoman Ms. Deborah Henry, and graced by the members from Dual Blessings and ORKIDS and artists from Mouth and Foot Painting Artists who later gave a demonstration and exhibition of their work. The event ended with light refreshment served by the Deaf in Business enterprise located on the campus of Taylor’s Lakeside University.

This project has involved over a hundred people, and along the way the students have made many new friends, and established new connections, while developing a host of new skills. This project was a collaboration that brought together different schools and departments within Taylor’s, as well as community organisations, to achieve one common aim: to provide holistic education to our students and create awareness in the university community and society at large, about people with special needs.
The book is now for sale, with 50% of the proceeds going back to the special needs community, and the remaining 50% being used for the next student project. Those who interested to get a copy of the book can do so at the Amazon Kindle Store. For more information about this project, please check out the website, the Facebook page and our Instagram account.

Written by Simon Williams