NP in the News

Seeking Employment For The Deaf-Blind

30 Aug 2022

Despite being deaf-blind, Ms Tan Siew Ling works independently as an executive assistant in the Chief Executive Officer office at SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities. 

Her story, which was featured in The Straits Times in 2021 as part of the Celebrating SG Women series by Ministry of Social and Family Development Singapore, inspired a group of CDT students to start social enterprise Real.Scent to find employment for the deaf-blind community. 

By focusing on their abilities to smell and touch, the students designed a workshop for the deaf-blind and trained them to be instructors for perfume workshops where they help participants create their own unique blend of perfume. 

They have since managed to find employment for six individuals – one deaf-blind, three visually impaired and two hearing impaired. Their 3-month long campaign has also garnered 408 followers on Instagram with one of their advocacy videos reaching over 2,000 accounts. 

Moving forward, the team targets to be the first workplace in Singapore that creates job opportunities specifically for the deaf-blind. 


Toh Bo Sheng (in blue shirt), a deaf-blind instructor, runs his first trial run workshop for participants, who can be seen here mixing their perfumes. With him is another deaf-blind instructor Abdul Hamid.

The team behind Real.Scent and their deaf-blind instructors. (From left, back row) Chloe Chua, Jocelyn Koh, Nikol Goh, Charleen Tan and Yasvini Sharmala (not in photo, Angelica Ang); (front row) Instructors Rendi Toh, Toh Bo Sheng, Abdul Hamid and Charmaine Tan Xing En.