Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC Calls for Applications for Hong Kong’s First Universal Design Award Scheme


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) announced today (1 February 2024) the launch of Hong Kong’s first Universal Design Award Scheme 2024/25 (UDAS). The scheme is now open for application until 15 April 2024. Organised by the EOC for the first time to recognise public and private organisations with outstanding contributions in implementing universal design, the UDAS encourages the sharing of good practices in creating inclusive environments, while motivating more organisations to adopt such practices with a view to enhancing accessibility in Hong Kong.

Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin, Chairperson of the EOC said, “More and more businesses have prioritised environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles in their operation in recent years, with many emphasising the accessible design of their products, services, and facilities. The introduction of the UDAS by the EOC aligns with the core values of diversity, fairness, and inclusivity embodied in corporate social responsibility. By participating in the UDAS, organisations can showcase the accessibility of their facilities and services to target customers and the general public. Not only would this expand their customer base, but it would also strengthen their relationships with stakeholders. Moreover, the UDAS provides a platform for participating organisations to engage in meaningful exchanges and share experiences, empowering them with the latest know-how to fully adopt universal design in their services and the built environment.”

“Indeed, the accessibility of facilities will become more important than ever, as the aging of Hong Kong’s population accelerates. From 2021 to 2046, the proportion of the elderly population is expected to increase from 21% to 36%. The principles of universal design not only aim to provide greater convenience for people with disabilities, but they also enhance the usability of goods, services, and facilities for everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or characteristics. Accordingly, the EOC has made the promotion of universal design a priority. We aim to bring the concept into the mainstream through policy advocacy, research, public education, and collaboration with relevant stakeholders. This will speed up the development of an accessible city without barriers, ensuring equal access to facilities and resources for every member of the community.”

In October last year, the EOC launched the Practical Guide on Universal Design for Catering Services to Support Persons with Disabilities, which provides practical guidelines to improve restaurant facilities and services for diners with different needs. This was followed by a seminar entitled “Application of Assistive Technology in Catering Services” in November 2023, which brought together industry professionals and information technology experts to discuss the use of assistive technology in the catering industry. This year, the EOC launched the UDAS to encourage organisations in Hong Kong to further promote the concept of universal design. The UDAS recognises organisations with outstanding contributions in creating accessible environments, and encouraging the wider adoption of universal design for people of all abilities, including but not limited to persons with disabilities, the elderly, carers, pregnant women, and families with young children.

The UDAS consists of five application categories, including: (1) Shopping Malls and Retail Space, (2) Office Buildings and Office Spaces, (3) Restaurants, (4) Buildings and Sites with Recreational, Sports or Cultural Purposes, and (5) Revitalised Sites. They cover spaces that are commonly used in daily life for work, dining, shopping, and leisure activities. Public and private organisations interested in participating in the UDAS can submit their application from now until 15 April 2024. Participation in the UDAS is entirely free of charge.

The assessment process of the UDAS begins with a self-assessment by the participating organisations on the accessibility of their facilities and services. This will be followed by random site audits by the EOC. A judging panel will then select the award-winning organisations based on the self-assessment and site audits. Each application category includes Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards, and all awarded organisations will receive a UDAS decal and a Certificate of Recognition. Special Recognition Awards will also be given to organisations with exceptional universal design provisions. The EOC plans to announce the results in September 2024 and hold an award presentation ceremony in October 2024.

The EOC will organise three briefing sessions at its office in Wong Chuk Hang to explain the application process and the selection criteria of the UDAS. Two briefing sessions in English will be held on 23 February and 13 March 2024 respectively, while a briefing session in Cantonese will be held on 27 February 2024. Interested parties can find out more about the briefing sessions and download the UDAS application form from the EOC website. They can also contact the EOC Office at 2511 8211 for enquiries.

To widely promote the UDAS and the concept of universal design, the EOC will utilise various online and offline platforms, such as MTR advertisements, online media outlets, business association publications, and social media. 

Mr Ricky CHU said, “In addition to the aforementioned initiatives, the EOC will organise a large-scale forum on accessibility and universal design, and host a movie screening with audio description in a cinema. Our ultimate objective is to inspire individuals from diverse sectors to actively engage in discussions and exchange experiences in promoting accessibility and universal design. Through a combination of policy advocacy and educational programmes, the EOC hopes to strengthen collaboration with various stakeholders and foster a society that is accessible, barrier-free, and inclusive.”


Equal Opportunities Commission
1 February 2024 

 The EOC’s Universal Design Award Scheme 2024/25 opens for application.

 The EOC’s Universal Design Award Scheme 2024/25 opens for application.