Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 226


Leverage Government support to create a disability-friendly workplace

From deaf restaurant servers to event assistants with visual impairment, more and more people with disabilities (PWDs) are defying stereotypes and proving their worth in the workplace. Boasting diverse skill sets, unique perspectives and, in some cases, an outstanding education level, they help businesses grow, innovate and build lasting relationships with customers.

Still, some employers balk at the idea of hiring PWDs. With little knowledge of the actual needs of PWDs, let alone how to accommodate them, they jump to the conclusion that it would be too much work and not worth the trouble, and end up missing out on the opportunity of a win-win situation.

The truth is, if employers in Hong Kong really do take the initiative to create a disability-friendly workplace, they do not have to bear the cost on their own. The Support Programme for Employees with Disabilities (SPED), introduced by the Social Welfare Department (SWD), provides a one-off subsidy of up to $20,000 for employers to procure assistive devices or carry out workplace modifications for each employee with disabilities. The SWD would also consider granting a maximum of $40,000 when the cost of a device and its essential accessories exceeds $20,000.

The funds can be used on a host of items, such as reading aids for printed documents, captioning devices, hands-free phone sets, tactile floors, and many more. Application is free of charge, and the SWD accepts applications all year round. Click the links below to find out more.