Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Renee Abigail Soh | SPD - Singapore

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Renee Abigail Soh


Renee in her office

Diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears when she was one, Renee uses two hearing aids and speaks with a slight slur. As reception duties are part of her work, she answers telephone calls to the company’s general line. At times when the caller speaks too softly or in an accent that she is not familiar with, she would have to ask them to repeat.

Was anyone ever frustrated or impatient with her? “No,” Renee replied without hesitation. She believes this is because she always asks politely.

To assist her with her telephone duties, Renee uses an assistive technology device that amplifies the volume. Other than this, Renee does not feel that her disability has affected her work or her relationship with her colleagues in any way.

Her teammates and seniors are always willing to help her, and they never fail to encourage her when she faces difficulties at work. Perhaps it is because she is the youngest in her department, she rationalised. “Sometimes, they call me ‘小妹’ (little sister in Mandarin) or ‘Abi’ as my nickname,” she recounted. She enjoys the camaraderie such as when they share jokes and goodies, or when they take her to try out new eateries near her workplace. She is grateful to her colleagues for taking care of her and making her comfortable in their presence.

Renee (front row, centre) with her colleagues on her birthday

Renee’s family is glad that she has found a good job. Her friends are also one of her major source of support. “They treat me just like any other friend,” she said. Some of those whom she still keeps in close contact with are from her primary and secondary schools.

Renee revealed that she did not have a pleasant experience in her first job. However, she took the advice of SPD’s employment support specialist, Patricia Goh, who encouraged her to put the negative memories behind, learn from the experience and to start the new job afresh. When asked to share in detail the unpleasant experiences in that job, Renee instead chose to emphasise her joyous moments and describe the little things that made her happy. She is certainly one who spreads positivity.

Patricia, who has known Renee for two years, recalled that Renee was rather shy and quiet when she first met her. “It is very encouraging to see that Renee has become much more confident and bubbly,” said Patricia.

On her hopes for the future, Renee expressed that she wants to always be happy and to be able to support herself. In the near future, she hopes to pursue a diploma in human resource which would help her in her work. She has benefited from attending training courses and she wants to encourage others to do the same to upgrade themselves, and more importantly, to pursue their own goals and happiness.