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Sirhajwan  Idek
There is always a way


location_on Malaysia
Special needs individuals often have difficulties to participate in many activities that non-disabled individuals regularly take part in such as art performance and elevator pitch. This project seeks to provide them with alternatives that enable them to express their ideas and talents such as animation, voice acting, acoustic media, object manipulation and mimes.
Sirhajwan Idek, Project Leader
Special needs learners can do what others do, they just need the specific support and the right platform.

Sirhajwan Idek, Project Leader


HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by Sirhajwan Idek on May 18th, 2022
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Innovation Overview

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Updated on August 9th, 2022
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Special needs individuals often experience exclusion from most activities due to the lack of available support for their specific needs or how the education community often perceives them. As a result of these, special needs students rarely join any activities that are usually reserved for non-disabled learners. This approach seeks to provide alternatives for them to participate in such activities

How does your innovation work in practice?

This project “A4GI” which stand for “Alternatives For Gifted Individuals” aims to assist these students to be able to gain equal participation in so-called mainstream activities that people only associate with non-disabled learners. These alternatives enable special needs students to communicate their ideas, express their artistic imagination and develop their talents in several disciplines. This project identified several alternatives that might help special needs learners to participate in art activities and to a lesser extent, academic and business activities. We train the special needs learners on how to harness sign language, physical objects, voices, and multimedia skills so they can showcase their talents through performing arts and visual arts or pitch their ideas and innovative projects in competitions. We initially started with sign language poetry and elevator pitch as well as animated storytelling before venturing into pantomime, radio play, puppetry, comics and paintings.

How has it been spreading?

This project has enabled our special needs students to take part in various art an literary festivals where they have won multiple accolades. Their achievements have gained national interest and we have received many requests from teachers to conduct workshops or organize sessions to talk about this project. We have done several virtual talks with some special education teachers. We have presented this project to the Special Education department of our Ministry of Education after receiving their invitation to do so. In the next 3 years, our goal is to strengthen the practicality of these alternatives by testing more techniques and platforms to identify how well each alternative works. It is our goal to introduce these alternatives across schools in Malaysia through workshops and talks.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

If you plan to apply this, you need to identify the specific needs of the students and this can be like difficulties with oral interaction, difficulties with eye contact and difficulties with vision. Once you identify the need of an individual student, you then choose the alternative that meets this need and begin mentoring the student to work on their skills based on the specific alternative.


See this innovation in action

Manuk Manuk By Calvin Junior John (Sign Language Poetry)
Calvin Junior John won bronze Medal at Copenhagen Stars Art Festival on 14-19 December 2021, Copenhagen, Denmark for his sign language poetry entitled "Manuk-Manuk". The YouTube link to his performance:
Animated Tale: Timbalun by Alexius Ignatius (Special Needs Learner)
Alexius Ignatius won gold medal in the animate tale category of the art festival "Ritmos Brasileiros 2022" which took place in 16 May 2022. The title of the animated tale that he delivered was "Timbalun". Watch his prerecorded performance:
Jomo Teko (They Came) by Farhan Azrey Bin Jais (Sign Language Poetry)
Farhan Azrey won first prize in the sign language poetry category at Under the Skies of Australia Art Festival, on 20 August 2021, Australia. He performed a poem entitled "They Came, They Stayed". The YouTube link to his performance:
Bele Bele: The Origin of Scarecrow By Aizat Izzuddin (Special Needs Learner)
Aizat Izzuddin is an art enthusiast as he is a poetry performer, a storyteller, a voice actor, an illustrator and an orator. He, along with his classmate, narrated three short stories and recited three poems at an art festival, 2020 Tiny Lit Fest, hosted by an association in Brunei through a virtual session. The two of them became the first Malaysian to take part in the art festival as performers. In early 2021, he represented Malaysia to compete at the Asian English Olympics organized by an Indonesian university where he participated in the storytelling category, together with two of his classmates. Three of them were the first individuals with disabilities to take part in the event as contestants. His accomplishments in literary, performing and visuals arts have catalyzed the active participation of special needs learners in various arts events. His presentation video can be accessed via this link:
Ngakak by Dymphna Simon (Sign Language Poetry)
Dymphna Simon has pioneered sign language poetry performance as an alternative for Malaysian special needs individuals to partake in performing arts that often require oral skills. She recorded her own sign language poetry entitled “Ngakak” in which she won 1st prize at an online art festival “American Charm” in July 2021. Her individual victory gained national publicity since she was able to break the barriers in performing arts that have excluded individuals who communicate through sign language from taking part actively as performers. She previously led her team to win first place at the Portugal Art Carnival in May 2021. Mr. Johari @ Jaibet Bin Sabin, the college director, applauded her effort and commended the teachers who have mentored her. . Her poetry performance can be accessed from this link:
Animated Tale: Gimbaran by Aaron Yong Tzy Seng (Special Needs Learner)
Aaron Yong Tzy Seng is a special needs learner from Sabah, Malaysia. He is a furniture-making student at a vocational school. He won 1st prize at International Festival Online Competition “Under the Skies of Australia” on 20th February 2022 in the animated storytelling category. Aaron has a great proficiency in English language and he is able to understand English language text well and narrate them orally. This was how the teachers discover his talents in being an effective voice actor for animated tales. His achievement received national publicity as he was featured on Malaysia’s education channel, Buletin Didik, and he was also appeared on the weekly education column of the Star, the most prominent English language newspaper in the country. His achievement has paved the way for more special needs learners to venture into animated storytelling which allows them to showcase their talents in a way that they feel comfortable. The YouTube link to his performance:
Mother by Nurazwin Liyana Binti Abdullah (Sign Language Monologue)
Nurazwin Liyana Binti Abdullah has proven that special needs individuals with hearing impairment can always find different ways to showcase their talents through her monologue and poetry performances in sign language. Nurazwin Liyana’s monologue performance titled “Mother” received recognition at an art festival “Les Etoiles De Paris 2021” on 6 November 2021. She had also performed sign language poetry at George Town Literary Festival, the biggest literary event in Malaysia, and at a national OKU (individuals with disabilities) convention organized by Malaya University which is the most renowned university in the country. She is the leader of her school team that is specialized in sign language performing arts who trains for performances and competitions. Her monologue performance can be viewed on YouTube
Sign Language Poetry Performance for Learners with Disabilities Convention hosted by UM
We continued to venture into sign language poetry and other types of performances through sign language in 2021. As a result, several students from our school won recognition in some online art festivals. Upon exclusive invitations, they virtually performed at Georgetown Literary Festival, the biggest literary festival in Malaysia, and at the national convention for learners with disabilities organized by Universiti Malaya, the most prestigious university in the country. The YouTube link:
The Tales of Borneo: Bajau folklore and literature
In 2020, two of the students were able to create a series of animated storytelling and poetry recital in which the performance video made its debut in Brunei Literary Festival. Since the students were too shy to make eye contact with people and to look at cameras, animation and vocal acting offered practical alternatives for them to deliver their performances. The YouTube link:
Veganbond: Promoting Vegan Lifestyle Through Plant-Based Meat Substitutes
In mid 2020, we trained a team of special needs students to present their food innovation at a remote innovation competition. Two of the students with hearing impairments presented the project in sign language and it received positive feedback from the community including special education teachers from other schools. The video link:


Achievements & Awards

May 2022
Innovation page created on
April 2022
The project was virtually presented at International European Conference on Social Sciences on 22 April 2022 . The YouTube link to the prerecorded presentation is:
July 2021
Winner of Simon Greenall Award

Spread of the innovation

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