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IDDP Day – Ocean Park Fun Day 2013 Ocean Park Updates the Guests with Disability Service Guideline and Installs Guide Dog Facilities to Promote the Integration of People with Disabilities and Able-bodied People

2013-11-23

Nearly 7,000 guests with disabilities, and their friends and families, from all 18 districts of Hong Kong, visited Ocean Park today to take part in the International Day of Disabled Persons (IDDP) – Ocean Park Fun Day 2013. Sign interpretation was available at the opening ceremony, Ocean Theatre, Amazing Bird Theatre, Whiskers Theatre and the trainer’s talk at the North Pole Encounter, so that hearing impaired guests could also enjoy the spectacular performance by our entertainers. To tie a closer bond between guests with disabilites and the park, facilities for guide dogs have also been installed around the park to better facilitate visually impaired guests. 

Mr. Chong Chan Yau, Vice-chairman of the 2013 IDDP Organising Committee cum Vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities said: “Ocean Park has been supporting the IDDP for many years, giving opportunities to those with disabilities to enjoy a weekend out with their friends and families at Hong Kong people’s park. This year, the park has also recruited different people with disabilities, from member organisations of the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities, to participate in the “Ocean Park Selective Placement Trainee Program 2013”, showing Ocean Park’s commitment in promoting the employment of people with disabilities. 

Mr. Brian Ho, Executive Director of Human Resources at Ocean Park further elaborates, “Ocean Park is actively encouraging the employment of people with disabilities. The park currently employs 52 staff with disabilities, accounting for over 2.5% of the overall workforce, simliar to other hospitality or tourism establishment in Hong Kong. To provide a hassle-free experience for guests with disabilities, the park has installed barrier-free facilities at all its rides, exhibits and theatres. In the near future, we will also include more disabled-friendly facilities in our upcoming new attractions, such as “Shark Mystique”, “Adventures in Australia” and the “all-new waterpark”, to give all our guests an enjoyable, yet hassle-free travel experience here at Ocean Park.”

To facilitate guide dogs accompanying visually impaired guests, guide dog latrines have been installed in the park since July this year. Guide dogs with identity documents issued by the Guiding Eyes for the Blind, or any other equivalent authorizing organisations, can be brought into Ocean Park, and in particular, into facilities including the Cable Car, Ferris Wheel, Ocean Express and Ocean Park Tower. If needed, in-park staff is more than happy to offer assistance to any visually impaired guests so that they can tour around the park conveniently. As in the past, Ocean Park continues to keep in touch with the Hong Kong Guide Dog Association and will work closely together with the organisation to update the relevant guidelines and facilities with any new guidelines issued by the organisation in the future. 

All facilities at Ocean Park are suitable for guests with disabilities, and some facilities like the Ferris Wheel and the Sea Life Carousel, have been specially designed with a compartment specifically for wheelchair users. To further enable guests to enjoy the fun from visiting all the attractions, the park has recently updated the “Guests with Disability Service Guideline” to better educate front-line staff on how best to provide assistance to guests with disabilities. In order to meet the needs of different guests with disabilities, the guideline fully details the requirements that must be met, by guests, for all rides. The guideline also clearly lists things-to-note for front-line staff when communicating with guests with disabilities, including tonality of conversations, attitudes and expressions, so that frontline staff can communicate in a concise and clear manner to understand and provide the most appropriate service to our guests.