Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

Accessibility Case Settled Out Of Court


After commencing legal proceedings under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO) in July 2011 on behalf of a Plaintiff who is an elderly person with mobility difficulties residing at Pok Hong Estate in Shatin, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has successfully negotiated an out of court settlement on her behalf. As part of the settlement, the defendant who is the Incorporated Owners of the Estate has agreed to provide lift access to the second floor of the Lower Block and the Higher Block of Pok On House and Pok Man House.

The Plaintiff is a person with disability who suffers from right knee osteoarthritis, resulting in acute pain when she walks up or down stairs. The Plaintiff has great difficulty accessing or leaving her home on the second floor of Pok Hong Estate, as there is no lift access on that floor.

Commenting on the settlement, Mr. LAM Woon-kwong, Chairperson of the EOC said, "We welcome the successful outcome and praise the Plaintiff for her courage in speaking out about the lack of access to her local community. This case testifies to the needs, difficulties and barriers faced by persons with disabilities in conducting their daily lives. People with disabilities are still struggling to access their basic right to go freely where everyone else can go without hindrance or unnecessary barriers being put in place."

Mr. LAM pointed out that the settlement will bring about important improvements in the accessibility of the community of Pok Hong Estate. "Providing barrier-free access will not only facilitate more independent living for people with disabilities, but also benefit many others in the community including parents of young children in prams, elderly persons and people with temporary illness or injury," said Mr. LAM.

"This case should remind all developers and property management companies of their legal obligations to provide equal access to people with disabilities, unless to do so would impose unjustifiable hardship," added Mr. LAM. 

The EOC will actively monitor the implementation of the settlement terms.


Equal Opportunities Commission
21 October 2011