Barrier Free Access
Link’s collaborative and holistic approach to provide a better environment for the community enables us to design initiatives that support our commitment to serve and improve the lives of those around us. As a pioneer amongst real estate investors and managers in Hong Kong, Link promotes barrier-free access facilities that go beyond the minimum in building codes. We invest significant resources in installing and operating such facilities at the properties under our management. Over time, this work shapes the community environment providing a more inclusive society and enables those with mobility needs to enjoy a pleasant retail experience. This brings wider benefit to both customers and visitors to our properties.
Link’s dedication to building a barrier-free environment is widely recognised by local rehabilitation groups. Allen Kam-yuen Chan, Chairperson of the Rehabilitation Policy Sub-committee of the Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth, appreciates Link’s efforts, saying, “Link has always focused on the needs of people with disabilities. Through regular meetings of its Access Advisory Group, Link gathers views and opinions from the rehabilitation organisations in Hong Kong on the best practicable solutions for BFA improvements. Link’s continued commitment to corporate social responsibility is evident with such efforts to enhance services for people with disabilities.”
Since announcement of Link’s BFA Improvement Plan at a budget of HK$200 million in early 2011, 142 properties have been fitted with basic BFA facilities. The Plan follows the Best Practicable Principle, standards of Universal Design within the Buildings Department’s Design Manual: Barrier Free Access 2008 as well as other associated requirements. Improvement works for all properties owned and managed by Link are expected to be completed by the end of 2016 under the Plan.
Progress of Barrier Free Access Facilities Improvement Works (31 March 2016)
Barrier Free Access (BFA) Community
Link provides a series of measures to enrich the knowledge and know-how of its frontline staff when engaging and assisting people with disabilities and the elderly. In addition to on-going training and its own Barrier-free Access Mystery Shoppers Assessment Programme, Link provides extensive staff service guidelines. Supplementary facilities, such as the use of the loop system and sign language cue cards are provided at Link’s shopping malls as a specialised customer service for those with hearing impairments.
In 2015, Link initiated its annual major barrier-free access education programme in collaboration with selected NGOs. The Shopping Centre Orienteering 2015 and Barrier “Fu”ree Adventure Day 2016 successfully raised participants’ awareness of the importance of BFA facilities for people with disabilities and the elderly.
BFA Recognition and Awards
Awards on BFA Facilities
Link invited Mr Allen Kong, Australian architect and member of the International Union of Architects (UIA) Region IV, and Mr Michael Fox, member of Rehabilitation International (RI), to assess the BFA facilities at Link’s properties based on the requirements of the Design Manual – Barrier Free Access 2008 formulated by the Buildings Department of the HKSAR Government. Both UIA’s task force for ‘Architecture for All’ and the RI highly commended Link’s efforts and commitment to creating a highly responsive and socially inclusive environment for the Hong Kong community.
Barrier-free Companies / Organisations
Link is included in the List of Barrier-free Companies / Organisations 2014 and 2015 under The Hong Kong Council of Social Service’s Caring Company’s Scheme in recognition of Link’s efforts for proactive support and the creation of a barrier-free environment and culture. Forty-nine Link properties have passed the BFA audit and assessment conducted by the rehabilitation organisations commissioned by the Council.
Barrier-free Facilities Caring Award
Link won the Barrier-free Facilities Caring Award organised by The People of Fortitude • International Mutual-aid Association for the Disabled in 2014. This award recognises companies for efforts made in improving barrier-free facilities and is a testament to Link’s strong contribution in this field.
Harmony Award for Barrier-free Facilities
Link was awarded the Harmony Award for its barrier-free facilities by The Sai Kung District Council and the Direction Association for the Handicapped in the ‘Sai Kung Barrier-free Inspection Programme 2012-13’.
Awards on Web Access
Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme Awards
Link’s customer website has won awards over three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016 in the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme. Jointly organized by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and the Equal Opportunities Commission, Link received the Gold Award in 2015 and Silver Awards in 2014 and 2016. Link’s corporate website also won the Silver Award in 2013.
The Scheme encourages the adoption of web accessibility to facilitate access to online information and services by all segments of the community, including people with disabilities.
Web Care Award 2011-13
Link’s corporate website was awarded the Jade Award of the Web Care Award 2011-13, organised by the Internet Professional Association in February 2013. This award recognises Link’s dedication and efforts in building a barrier- free website for stakeholders with different needs.
Following its revamp in June 2011, our corporate website adopted a large number of accessibility features, including providing a meaningful text alternative for non-text contents. This allows all operations to be performed through a keyboard interface and provides clear and informative links.
5 Dec 2015
Link Barrier Free Shopping Centre Orienteering 2015
14 May 2011
Eden Trio Choir Stage Performance at Lok Fu Plaza
19 Jan 2011
Press Conference on Upgrading of Barrier Free Access Facilities