13 Apr 2015

Link leads the industry in promoting Barrier-Free Access

The Link Management Limited (‘The Link’) has been honoured with the Gold Award, Web for All 2015 from the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), as well as being included in the List of Barrier-free Companies / Organisations 2014/15, awarded by The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (‘HKCSS’), with the highest number of endorsed shopping malls in the industry, at 14.

The Link is the only company to have received both these awards for two consecutive years. The Link is pleased to be acknowledged for its role in, facilitating customers to experience barrier-free access (BFA) services, both online and in shopping malls.

The Link was one of the first private corporations to take the lead in promoting and upgrading BFA facilities across approximately 180 of its owned and managed properties in Hong Kong. To build a fairer and more caring community, the company has progressively invested over HK$200 million since January 2011. The enhancements are expected to be completed by the end of next year. The Link also proactively supports OGCIO’s Web Accessibility Campaign in order to facilitate access to information and online services for different users and customers, including persons with disabilities and special needs.

To achieve inclusion in the List of Barrier-free Companies / Organisations 2014/15, the Link’s 14 shopping malls all passed a site inspection and assessment conducted by three HKCSS-appointed NGOs, namely Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth, The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Alliance Hong Kong. These 14 malls are: Wong Tai Sin Plaza, Kwai Fong Plaza, Homantin Plaza, Shek Yam Shopping Centre, Lai Kok Shopping Centre, Lee On Shopping Centre, Sun Tin Wai Commercial Centre, Fu Heng Shopping Centre, Po Tin Shopping Centre, Chun Shek Shopping Centre, Tin Wan Shopping Centre, Hing Tung Shopping Centre, King Lam Shopping Centre and Lei Tung Commercial Centre.

Since January 2011, The Link has progressively upgraded all BFA facilities across its portfolio, following the Buildings Department’s Design Manual: Barrier Free Access and other relevant requirements. The Link has also established an Access Advisory Group (AAG), which collaborates with community groups and stakeholders. The AAG invites rehabilitation groups, as well as those caring for the elderly, to regular meetings to incorporate their feedback and comments on the BFA facilities. In addition, a Mystery Shopper Programme is in place to observe and evaluate the service levels of its frontline staff when dealing with customers with disabilities. By including rehabilitation organisations and persons with disabilities in its review team, BFA issues are given priority in the evaluation process. This programme is the first of its kind in the industry.

Dr Joseph Kwan, Access Advisor of The Link’s AAG and an international BFA expert, said, ‘The Link is the first corporation to take the lead in promoting and upgrading Barrier-Free Access (BFA) facilities in all its managed properties. This recognition has affirmed The Link’s efforts in promoting a BFA environment and caring for the community within the property management industry.’

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