17 Apr 2014

Building Hong Kong’s First Barrier-free Access Experience Centre

The Link Management Limited (“The Link”) and Hong Kong PHAB Association held a signing ceremony today for the construction of Hong Kong’s first Barrier-free Access Experience Centre. The Experience Centre will serve as a training ground for industry professionals and an education platform to promote social inclusion.  In line with these objectives, the Experience Centre will provide training to property management employees (including staff from The Link) on serving people with disabilities and will be open to the public to educate people about Barrier-free Access (BFA) and the many benefits it provides to people of all abilities.
The two organisations embarked on this partnership since they share the same vision of building a barrier-free community.  According to the agreement signed today, The Link will donate HK$5 million for capital costs to build the Experience Centre and will waive the rent, management charges and air-conditioning charges for 6 years, while Hong Kong PHAB Association will be responsible for its construction and daily operation.
 “On top of the not less than HK$200 million earmarked by The Link to upgrade BFA facilities in 2011, we are pleased to build Hong Kong’s first BFA Experience Centre with Hong Kong PHAB Association to promote social inclusion and integration,” said George Hongchoy, Chief Executive Officer of The Link, during the signing ceremony. “This is a great leap forward for The Link to realise our vision of serving and improving the lives of those around us. Through hosting training and education activities, we hope that the BFA Experience Centre can encourage more organisations in Hong Kong to improve their BFA facilities while also promoting understanding and empathy among the public, so that Hong Kong can become a model of social inclusion.”
“The BFA Experience Centre aims to promote a barrier-free environment through training and education activities that will allow able-bodied people to understand the daily challenges faced by people with mobility impairments, the blind and the deaf,” said Prof Frederick Ho, Chairman of Hong Kong PHAB Association. “It will provide fun and inspiring programmes and activities that will provoke empathy and understanding, helping remove social barriers, eradicate discrimination and encourage integration. The centre will also promote direct communication with people with disabilities, demonstrating that disability is a part of life, but not the whole.”
The 6,000-square-foot BFA Experience Centre, innovatively designed by The Link and Hong Kong PHAB Association, will be located at Kwai Shing East Shopping Centre in Kwai Chung. It will showcase various BFA facilities and let visitors experience the challenges faced by the disabled through various simulated situations. It aims to raise public awareness of the issues faced by people with disabilities and the importance of a barrier-free society. The Experience Centre is expected to soft launch by the end of 2014.
HK$200M Earmarked by The Link REIT for Total Upgrading of Facilities to Meet New Standards of Barrier Free Access (Full Press Release on 19 January 2011)
To be downloaded from Barrier Free Access Corner section of The Link’s website: www.thelinkreit.com/EN/corporate/Pages/20110801_BFA.aspx
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