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Record High of Participants at IDDP Day – Ocean Park Fun Day 2014 Visually Impaired Guests with Guide Dogs Can Enjoy a Barrier-free Park Experience and Get Close to Nature

2013-11-22

(22 November 2014 - Hong Kong) Ocean Park hosts the International Day of Disabled Persons (IDDP) – Ocean Park Fun Day 2014 for the 22nd consecutive year, with a record high of close to 8,000 guests with disabilities, their friends and families, from various districts in Hong Kong. To accommodate the overwhelming amount of enthusiastic participants, Ocean Park extended the event to 2 days for the first time, in which 8,000 participants can visit the Park either on 22 or 29 Nov 2014. In addition to an opening ceremony held today to kick-off the annual event, the Park also collaborated with The Hong Kong Society for the Deaf to arrange sign interpretation at the ceremony, Ocean Theatre, Amazing Bird Theatre and Whiskers Theatre, so that guests with impaired hearing can also enjoy the Park’s spectacular performances. The Park also welcomes the support from Mr Sam Huang, a visually impaired member from the Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association, who attended the event today with his guide dog, Jolee, and participates in a guided tour to a number of exhibits and theme zones with other guests. The Park hopes to foster a barrier-free community in which visually impaired guests can also enjoy their experience with nature and learn about the importance of environmental conservation.

4,000 guests with disabilities and their friends and families visited Ocean Park today. After attending the opening ceremony, guests toured around, experienced the Park's barrier-free facilities, and enjoyed a fun-filled day combined with education, conservation and entertainment. Mr Huang, under the company of his guide dog, Jolee, visited the Grand Aquarium, Amazing Asian Animals, South Pole Spectacular and Thrill Mountain, and throughout the visit, Jolee remained professional and calm as it guided Mr Huang through the Park, and in particular, during their encounter with the Park’s animal ambassadors, including fish, giant pandas and penguins, while listening to the narration from the Park’ staff alongside. Mr Huang says, “The experience was very memorable although I couldn’t see it with my eyes. From the noise made by the animals and the education narration I hear at the exhibits, I could deeply experience the sense of wonders about nature, and I hope that more and more people who are visually impaired can enjoy this wonderful experience as much as I do.”

Mr Brian Ho, Executive Director of Human Resources of Ocean Park, elaborates “Ocean Park is actively encouraging social inclusion. The Park has created a hassle-free experience for guests with disabilities by installing barrier-free facilities at all of its rides, exhibits and theatres. In the near future, we will also include more disabled-friendly facilities in our upcoming new attractions, such as Adventures in Australia and the Water World, to provide guests with an enjoyable, hassle-free experience at Ocean Park. In addition, we organise staff training courses on a regular basis to equip our staff with the appropriate attitude and behaviors when serving guests with disabilities, the skills for meeting the needs of guests with different disabilities, basic sign language, and knowledge about facilities tailored for disabled guests. To prepare ourselves for the IDDP 2014, we arranged our frontline staff and supervisors to attend training courses which helped enhance their knowledge, attitude and skills for serving disabled guests.”

Mr Cheung Kin-fai, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the International Day of Disabled Persons 2014, and Chairperson of the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities says, “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. At the same time, the Park is dedicated to equal employment opportunities by hiring over 50 staff with disabilities, accounting for over 2.4% of the overall workforce which is impressive.”

In addition to providing excellent care to its disabled guests, Ocean Park also encourages the employment of people with disabilities. The Park launched the “Ocean Park Selective Placement Trainee Programme” for the 2nd consecutive year and it recruits people with disabilities to take-part in a 9-month training and internship programme which help equip them with vocational skills and knowledge necessary for integrating into society. The Park also provides reasonable adjustment in the workplace to enable them to work at the Park. The Park’s efforts in encouraging social integration for persons with disability not only brought the award of the “Caring Company Logo”from the Hong Kong Council of Social Service for the 10th consecutive year, but also, the award of the “Talent-Wise Employment Charter and Inclusive Organisations Recognition Scheme - Reporting Mechanism, Assessment Criteria and Inclusive Organisation Logo” this June by the Labour and Welfare Bureau, in collaboration with the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities.

Photo 1: Mr Cheung Kin-fai, Chairman of the Organising Committee for International Day of Disabled Persons 2014, and Chairperson of the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities, and Mr Brian Ho, Executive Director of Human Resources of Ocean Park, exchange souvenirs at the opening ceremony for the IDDP Day - Ocean Park Fun Day 2014
Photo 1: Mr Cheung Kin-fai, Chairman of the Organising Committee for International Day of Disabled Persons 2014, and Chairperson of the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities, and Mr Brian Ho, Executive Director of Human Resources of Ocean Park, exchange souvenirs at the opening ceremony for the IDDP Day - Ocean Park Fun Day 2014
Photo 2: Mr Brian Ho, Executive Director of Human Resources of Ocean Park, presents souvenir to Mr. Brian Francis, the Director of Business Development & Training of The Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association souvenir
Photo 2: Mr Brian Ho, Executive Director of Human Resources of Ocean Park, presents souvenir to Mr. Brian Francis, the Director of Business Development & Training of The Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association souvenir
Photo 3a, 3b, 3c: Visually impaired guest, Mr Sam Huang, and his guide dog Jolee tour around Ocean Park and met with the Park’s animal ambassadors. Jolee remained professional and calm while guiding Mr Huang
Photo 3a, 3b, 3c: Visually impaired guest, Mr Sam Huang, and his guide dog Jolee tour around Ocean Park and met with the Park’s animal ambassadors. Jolee remained professional and calm while guiding Mr Huang
Photo 4: Visually impaired guest, Mr Sam Huang, and his guide dog Jolee visits the Amazing Asian Animals where Mr Huang listens carefully to the sound emitted by giant pandas in the wild with the aid of the exhibit’s interactive displays. Mr Huang enjoyed his experience at the Park, and hopes that visually impaired people can enjoy the same experience as much as he does
Photo 4: Visually impaired guest, Mr Sam Huang, and his guide dog Jolee visits the Amazing Asian Animals where Mr Huang listens carefully to the sound emitted by giant pandas in the wild with the aid of the exhibit’s interactive displays. Mr Huang enjoyed his experience at the Park, and hopes that visually impaired people can enjoy the same experience as much as he does
Photo 5: Guests with disabilities take the Cable Car and tour at The Summit
Photo 5: Guests with disabilities take the Cable Car and tour at The Summit