EO Files (June 2009)
“THINGS WE DO, PEOPLE WE MEET - Reflections in Brief”
Where There is a Will, There is a Way
The announcement of half fares for people with disabilities by the MTR Corporation on 21 May 2009 is a significant step towards integrating people with disabilities into the community.
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) welcomes this initiative as we have been staunchly supporting the campaign for the provision of concessionary public transport fares to people with disabilities. In this regard, we also made various submissions to the Legislative Council’s “Subcommittee to Study the Transport Needs of and Provision of Concessionary Public Transport Fares for Persons with Disabilities” to put the scheme in place. The EOC will now work closely with the Government in making necessary statutory amendments to facilitate the implementation of the scheme.
The Alliance of Half Fare in Public Transport for People with Disabilities formed by about forty rehabilitation organisations, mutual support groups and parent support groups, which include members with physical and intellectual disabilities, has been fighting for half fare on public transportation for the people with disabilities for the last eight years. Scenes of them putting up with the hot sun or rainstorm during parades and assemblies to get their message across are still fresh in our minds.
We are touched whenever we see people with disability overcome extreme difficulties to create better lives for themselves and for others and feel encouraged to do our bit to contribute. We are also inspired by the protagonists of the videos produced by the EOC YouTube Channel who have different stories to tell yet highlight the same need that people with a disability must live with dignity and be integrated into the society.
Mr. Cheng Chiu Ho, the protagonist of our latest YouTube production titled “On the Way”, has been using wheelchair for more than 30 years. In our interview with Mr. Cheng, he not only talks about his views on concessionary fares but also about the changes in the facilities provided to the people with disabilities in Hong Kong in the last three decades. He stresses that people with disabilities do not want to ask for help. What they need is the right facilities so that they are able to live independently.
By providing concessionary fares, Hong Kong has made a move towards integrating people with disabilities into society, we now need to provide better facilities to enhance their quality of life and enable them to live with dignity.
Related online resources:
News Releases 2009/5/21 - EOC Welcomes the MTRC’s Decision to Offer Concessionary Fares for People with Disabilities:
The latest video of EOC YouTube Channel - “On the Way”: