Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
SLW on barrier-free access improvement works (with photos/video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, at a media session after inspecting the barrier-free access improvement works in Hung Hom today (August 23)

Secretary for Labour and Welfare: My objective in coming here today is to get an up-to-date impression of the progress that we are making in providing barrier-free access in every way, following the Chief Executive's announcement this Tuesday on enabling people, particularly elderly people and disabled persons, to get around easier. In fact, in pursuance of the recommendations of a full report by the Equal Opportunities Commission two years ago, the Government has implemented vigorously all the recommendations. Essentially, it included improving barrier-free facilities up-to-standard in respect of 3 500 Government venues not only in terms of access, but also in terms of the facilities there. They enable the elderly and disabled not only to be able to get into the premises, but also to make use of the facilities right there. It is very important. So we are talking about a comprehensive retrofitting programme which costs the Government $1.3 billion in a two-year massive programme. In fact, of these 3 500 projects, 90 per cent had been completed by the end of June this year. And for the 237 projects falling into the purview of the Housing Authority, also 90 per cent have been completed. So it underlines the importance we attach to creating a universally barrier-free access environment in Hong Kong, not only for disabled people but also for the elderly as well, since our population is rapidly ageing.

     Not only the hardware we are concerned about, we are also talking about software.  Software basically means the mentality and mindset of the civil servants serving the community. That is why we have embarked on intensive training in this respect. Also, as a matter of policy, we provide in each bureau or department a barrier-free access manager, and for every venue like this municipal services centre here an access officer whose responsibility would be to ensure that the facilities are properly provided and all complaints are properly handled.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, August 23, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:07


Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Print this page