Undaunted by Life in the Dark

October 2022

Blindness or visual impairment does not mean the end of the world. Like the rest of us, those who suffer from these conditions can also make their mark on society. Merrick Ho was diagnosed with chronic glaucoma when he was still a child, leaving him with only 1% vision. Yet that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams. Since earning a professional life coach certificate five years ago, through one-on-one coaching, he began to provide life guidance for individuals, guiding them through problems with families and work. He also conducts lessons on life problem solving skills for corporates. He may not be able to see, but he's able to help those with perfect eyesight navigate life.

Becoming a Life Coach


Merrick majored in social science at university. During his year two internship at the Hong Kong Blind Union, he was guided by a coach who helped him find the way in both his personal and professional lives. That experience helped him pave the way for a career in life coaching.

“That was my first contact with a life coach. After that, I began to study and take lessons required so that I can become one myself. As soon as I graduated in 2017, I started my career as a life coach,” said Merrick, one of the first four visually impaired professional life coaches in Hong Kong.

Since 2017, he has dedicated his time to life coaching. Through conducting lessons, he aims to inspire students to think and to look for solutions to their problems through brainstorming. Those who took his lessons came from all walks of life: social workers, teachers, entrepreneurs, executives, and salespeople. They have one thing in common – all have normal vision.

Being articulate and able to tell engaging stories are some of the prerequisites for a coach. But Merrick believes that being a good listener and the ability to ask powerful questions are even more important. “I once taught a lesson for salespeople, who came to us because they wanted to get involved in volunteer work, so they had to acquire some skills. I spent time teaching them about the importance of non-valued judgement, active listening, and powerful questions. And afterwards, they all thought they’ve learned something useful.” Another case involved a mother. At the end, after five deep conversations, he was able to help her work out the issues with other family members through her mother-in-law. These were all satisfying experience as a life coach.

The course Merrick completed is being offered through IAC - International Association of Coaching; and they cover both theory and practical training. The courses include fieldwork and training guided by instructors, totaling about 110 hours of work. Merrick has earned the certificate by the time he graduated from university at the age of 23. He is currently the Hong Kong Chapter Leader and Greater China coordinator for the IAC. This year, he began working full time at the human resources department of a multinational company’s Hong Kong office. At the same time, he has continued to devote time to public services and teaching outside work.

Merrick regularly conducts lessons on life coaching skills.
Those receiving guidance and advice from Merrick include secondary school students.

To nurture next generation of life coaches


With the goal of nurturing the next generation of life coaches, Merrick earlier submitted a proposal to Link Together Initiatives about providing professional coaching training for youth at Ebenezer School & Home for the Visually Impaired. The project, which was named “Live The Vision – Visually Impaired Professional Life Coach Training cum School Collaboration Project” won Link’s support.

“I wish to take the lead to train more visually impaired people to become life coach. This would help broaden and deepen career choices and opportunities for us. Just like myself, I want more of us to benefit from the training and to pass that on to the next generation.”

Not just focus on their limitation, but their potential

Jess points out that many visually impaired people are indeed highly capable, and employers should take effort to unearth their potential.

In fact, there is a visually impaired member, Jess Shek, at Link’s Human Resources Department. Though born with blindness, Jess has constantly been working to upgrade herself. She holds a Masters’ Degree in translation from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and has strong English and Chinese language skills.

Cheerful and resilient, Jess’s primary responsibility at Link is internal staff communications, which involves compiling internal memos and notices. She is also working on revamping the communications system within human resources.

Jess uses Braille for typing and performing other jobs.
Refreshable Braille display is a common writing tool for the visually impaired.

“There’s a common misunderstanding that blind people can only perform certain types of jobs, such as massaging. In fact, many of them have university degrees and are highly capable. Employers should do more to unearth their potential and not just focus on their limitation.”

As Jess explains, those who are visually impaired are keen on giving back and not just worrying about what they can take from society. To use herself as an example, she would never want to receive preferential treatment because of her disability. At her previous job, she was told she could use the executive washroom, an offer that she declined.

Jess also admires the culture towards visually impaired people in some overseas countries. “They have innovators who would constantly come up with new tools to assist visually impaired people. An example is equipment to help them drive. It would make noises when it detects cars in front.  Their guiding principle is to help you perform task like normal people, and not limiting what you can and can’t do.”

Subscribe Now

Receive updates in Messenger

By subscribing, you agree to receive marketing materials as set out in the Personal Information Collection Statement .


Subscribe to latest Channel 823 stories to your inbox


Personal Information Collection Statement

This Statement is made by Link Asset Management Limited ("Link Asset Management") as manager of Link REIT and Link Properties Limited (collectively "Link", “we”, "our" or "us"), in accordance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486) of the Laws of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ('the PDPO'). This Statement intends to notify you why your personal data is collected, how it will be used, to whom the personal data will be transferred and to whom data access requests are to be addressed.

Types of Personal Data Held

We hold four broad categories of personal data, namely customers' and tenants' personal data, business associates' personal data, employment-related personal data, website and social media users' personal data.

Collection - Why We Collect Your Data

From time to time, we may collect your personal data to provide our services to you and in an effort to improve your customer experience. You are not obliged to provide your personal data to us but if you do not, we may not be able to provide you with some of the information, materials, services and/or products of Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited.

Provision of personal data (i.e. email address or similar personal data) to us is obligatory should you subscribe to “Channel 823” or any contents thereto.

If you are under the age of 18, you must ask your parent or guardian before providing any personal data to us.

Use - How Your Data May Be Used

The personal data you registered for subscribing to "Channel 823" (whether through our websites or through social media platforms) will be used for:

  1. disseminate the latest news and activities related to Link’s portfolios, latest development of Link, including but not limited to “Channel 823” or contents thereto;
  2. to provide information of events in relation to corporate social responsibility programs of Link such as (without limitation) Link Together Initiatives and similar sustainability/community engagement/charity initiatives organised or co-organised by Link at Link’s premises or on Link’s website or social media platforms;
  3. for handling enquiries and feedbacks for better services to you, tenants and shoppers who patronize Link premises or uses Link’s website or social media platforms;
  4. to provide services, activities or experiences under at Link’s premises or Link’s website / social media platforms and gauge popularity of the same
  5. for internal statistical and analysis purposes;
  6. transfer to the necessary parties identified in this PICS;
  7. making disclosure so required by law, regulation or court order of any jurisdiction and / or so request by any government, regulatory or law enforcement authority or administrative organization within or outside Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
  8. for establishing legal claims or defences; and
  9. obtain legal advices and /or exercising, defending and / or protecting the rights or properties of Link, Link’s affiliates and contractors, agents and third party service providers including identifying, contracting or bringing legal actions against any persons who may be interfering with such rights or properties (whether intentionally or otherwise) and where any other third party may be harmed or property of any third party may be damaged by such interference

Use of Personal Data in Direct Marketing

We would like to use your email address or social media messengers for sending you "Channel 823" information or part thereof from time to time by way of direct marketing.

If you object to our use of your personal data for the relevant purposes as listed above, you can, at any time without charge, inform us via the “unsubscribe” function available in the emails or social media messengers of “Channel 823” updates or send an email to channel823@e.linkreit.com.

Transfer of Your Personal Data

Personal data held by us will be kept confidential, but we may disclose/transfer such data to the following parties (whether within or outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) for the purposes set out in this Statement:

  1. the entities comprising all the special purpose vehicles of Link REIT and the subsidiaries of Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited in connection with the operation of our business and activities at Link premises / "Channel 823" or contents thereto;
  2. professional advisors, service providers or contractors of Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited providing property management services, letting, licensing, social media services at Link premises / "Channel 823" or contents thereto;
  3. any agent, contractor or third party service provider who provides administrative, telecommunications, computer, payment, content, information or other marketing and promotional services to us in connection with the operation of our business and activities at or in relation to Link premises / "Channel 823" or contents thereto;
  4. any person under a duty of confidentiality to us or who has undertaken to keep your personal data confidential and use them in strict compliance with the requirements of the PDPO;
  5. any government, law enforcement authorities and administrative organisations and any person to whom we are under an obligation under law to make disclosure.


We strive at all times to ensure that your personal data will be protected against unauthorized or accidental access, processing, erasure or other use. We have implemented appropriate physical, electronic and managerial measures to safeguard and secure your personal data.

Your personal data will be kept in the office of Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited or by the service providers engaged by Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited and is accessible only to our authorized employees and service providers.

Retention of Data

We will keep your personal data for a reasonable time to fulfill the purpose for which the data was collected or comply with the relevant rules, regulations and laws of Hong Kong. Personal data which is no longer required will be destroyed.

Data Access/Correction Requests

Under the PDPO. any individual has the right to request access to and correction of his or her personal data held by us. In accordance with the terms of the PDPO, Link Asset Management or Link Properties Limited has the right to charge a reasonable fee for the processing of request.

If you wish to access or correct your personal data in relations to "Channel 823" subscription held by us, please send your request to: channel823@e.linkreit.com.

Please read the below terms if you provide your personal data for the use of our services in Mainland China.

Cross-border data transfer
Since "Channel 823" is published by Link Asset Management in Hong Kong, transfer of your personal data to Hong Kong is necessary for us to send you "Channel 823" information or part thereof. During such cross-border data transfer and storage, we are committed to protecting the security of your personal data. If you object to our cross-border transfer of your personal data, we may not be able to provide you with the services for the relevant purposes listed above.

Other rights
Other than the rights to request access and correction, in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China, you will also have the rights to copy, supplement and deletion of your personal data held by us.

To Change the scope of consent
We respect your right to know and right of decision on the processing of your personal data. You can change the scope of your consent to our processing of your personal data at any time, however this might affect your use of our services. If you wish to access, copy, correct, supplement or delete your personal data in relations to "Channel 823" subscription held by us or to change the scope of your consent, please send your request to:

Language Versions

In case of discrepancies between the English and Chinese versions of this Statement, the English version shall apply and prevail.

NOTE: This Personal Information Collection Statement is subject to change and was last updated in July 2022.


© Copyright Link Asset Management Limited. All rights reserved

Linkedin Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube Weibo QR code Wechat