Dialogue in the Dark

Social Enterprise Stories

Dialogue in the Dark

Dialogue in the Dark Singapore is an exclusive collaboration between Ngee Ann Polytechnic (through Social Lab Ltd) and Dialogue Social Enterprise. Originally founded in Germany, Dialogue in the Dark has reached 30 countries and more than 150 cities around the world. Dialogue in the Dark was brought to Singapore in 2009, the first permanent Dialogue in the Dark site in Southeast Asia, and the first in the world located within an educational institution. Strategically sited in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, we are a teaching and learning facility for Ngee Ann Poly students. Final year students get to run Dialogue in the Dark Singapore, and gain valuable experience in running a real social enterprise. Dialogue in the Dark Singapore aims to raise awareness and facilitate inclusion of marginalized people in our community. Our vision of social integration goes beyond just helping the blind. In the darkness, we can no longer see differences of race, class, and religion. We also believe more employment opportunities should be given to the disabled.
Persons with visual impairment are employed to be tour guides at Dialogue in the Dark Singapore, bringing visitors through everyday situations in complete darkness. This is a fresh kind of experiential learning, very hands-on and thought-provoking. The sensory adventure of Dialogue in the Dark Singapore offers a unique learning opportunity for visitors of all ages. Darkness opens visitors to new ways of experiencing the world around them. Visitors learn what it means to live without sight. In having to navigate darkened environments, they also appreciate the value of effective communication and understand those who see the world differently. Other than experiential tours, we also offer programmes such as Lunch in the Dark and Workshops for adult professionals and students.
When visitors wrote about us on their blogs or online social media platforms, that they had wonderful experience at Dialogue in the Dark Singapore, and telling us that our visually impaired guides have made a positive impact on them. This is a very fulfilling moment for both the sighted staff and visually impaired staff. “Overall, it was a very enriching, educational but yet fun experience that I would highly recommend toeveryone!”– Mitsueki (http://mitsueki.sg/2016/06/24/review-dialogue-dark-singapore/) “This tour really enlightened me and allow me to see things in a different perspective.’– Claire (http://blog.myfatpocket.com/claireaudreylim/2016/06/24/dialogue-in-the-dark-with-my-colleagues/)“It was a wonderful experience and really broadened my experience with the blind. It is good to see that Singapore has developed infrastructure that aids our less fortunate friends. Dialogue in the Dark has given me a new view, literally. All the best!” - Jiahui
Balancing between social mission and financial aspects
Dialogue in the Dark's vision as a social enterprise and training facility is to raise awareness about the visually impaired, change perceptions about the disabled and marginalised in the community, and promote a more inclusive society.