EOC's new documentary shows accessibility is an issue affecting everyone
While accessibility is sometimes misconceived as a costly idea that benefits only a few, Hong Kong's rapidly ageing population - by 2041 almost one in every three Hongkongers will be 65 years old or above - means that barrier-free facilities are in huge demand and not being constructed fast enough. Indeed, the right to navitage the city with ease should be enjoyed by all, from wheelchair users and others with mobility difficulties to pregnant women and parents with baby strollers.
In the EOC's latest documentary An Extra Mile, we talk to two artists with disabilities, Kevin CHENG and Philip WONG, about obstacles in built environments that make everyday life much harder than it has to be for wheelchair users. We then zoom in on Tsuen Wan, a district crowded with vehicles and people, to explore takeaways from its experience in creating a barrier-free, elderly-friendly neighborhood. The EOC's successful effort to negotiate the construction of a ramp at the entrance of a market near Heng On Estate, Ma On Shan, is also chronicled in the documentary, which sheds light on complex, but not unresolvable, challenges such as fragemented property ownerships and limits in the EOC's enforcement powers.
The road to equality and inclusion is often said to be a long and winding one. But if we all go the extra mile to empathise with and accommodate each other's needs, a barrier-free Hong Kong is not beyond our reach.