22 Aug 2012

Promoting BFA Facilities and Services to build an inclusive society for all

​In support of the government’s policy on Barrier Free Access (“BFA”), The Link REIT ("The Link") has been upgrading all of its facilities to comply with the standards set out in the government’s Design Manual: Barrier Free Access 2008 as well as other associated requirements.

The upgrading works, at a budget of HK$200 million, will renovate facilities in 182 properties and will be completed within five years. Progress of the works is as follows:

​1. Upgrading works have started in 73 properties; so far, 23 properties have completed the basic BFA upgrades according to the Best Practicable Principle.

In addition to the provision of eight major BFA facilities, we will provide other facilities for the surrounding communities based on their respective needs.

A lift will be installed in Wan Tau Tong Shopping Centre to make up for the lack of vertical access in the original building design.
Three vertical lifts are planned for Shun Lee Shopping centre and one vertical lift at Hau Tak Shopping centre. The Link will seek approval from relevant department of the government.
2. The Link has appointed Mr Joseph Kwan, an international BFA expert, as our Access Advisor. An Access Advisory Group comprising representatives from 11 major rehabilitation organisations in Hong Kong will contribute ideas on barrier-free access through regular meetings with The Link. Over the past year and a half, five meetings have been held with three meetings for site visits and a trial run of new installations.
3. In addition to hardware improvements, The Link will upgrade staff training to ensure better services for the disabled and people in need. Staff of The Link will 
Invite rehabilitation groups to draw up the training curriculum and participate in filming online training courses. A DVD of the training course has been produced for the use of interested parties.
Introduce a training course for staff, including one day of in-class training and an online training session.  Over 220 property staff from The Link have completed the training, which has improved their understanding of people with disabilities. These staff will become Access Officer of the shopping centre.
With the technical support and advice of rehabilitation groups, The Link’s Mystery Shopper Programme has been evaluating staff service levels for customers with disabilities since July. This programme is the first of its kind in the industry.
4. The Link’s corporate website is using online web care surfing functions for people with different disabilities

*Access Advisory group Members:
1. The Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth
2. Hong Kong Society for the Blind
3. Rehabilitation Alliance Hong Kong
4. Hong Kong Blind Union
5. The Hong Kong Association of the Deaf
6. The Hong Kong Society of the Deaf
7. The Hong Kong Association of Senior Citizens
8. Direction Association for the Handicapped
9. Retina Hong Kong
10. Hong Kong Federation of the Blind
11. Shek Kip Mei Lutheran Centre for the Blind
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