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Blind Aids Set For Public Housing Estates

Editor's Note: This article is reprinted from www.News.gov.hk, Hong Kong, February 18, 2007.

Improvement works to make visually impaired public-housing tenants' lives easier will be completed by the end of 2008, Assistant Director of Housing (Estate Management) Bay Wong says.

The $100 million programme involves installing tactile warning strips, tactile guide paths and voice synthesizers in lift cars, and tactile marking and braille on all lift buttons, lock pads and letter boxes.

Mr. Wong said the department launched another $20 million programme in 2001 to create a barrier-free living environment for disabled and elderly tenants.

It provides improved facilities rendering barrier-free access for wheelchair-bound tenants such as ramps, handrails and dropped kerbs.

The works in 127 public-rental housing estates have already been completed and work in the remaining 33 estates will be finished by mid-2007.

Flat Alterations

"In public-rental housing estates with the largest number of elderly tenants aged 65 or above--Sau Mau Ping Estate, Pak Tin Estate and Choi Hung Estate--facilities and landscape improvements were designed to cater for the elderly.

"Benches, sports and recreational facilities such as foot massage paths and outdoor fitness equipment were also installed," Mr. Wong said.

Apart from the additional facilities in common areas, the department has also carried out flat alterations to meet elderly tenants' individual needs or advice of their therapists.

"On average, alteration works for more than 10 units in each public-rental housing estate are completed every year. These involve lowering door thresholds, replacing thresholds with ramps, widening toilet doors, improving toilet layouts and shower facilities, re-positioning toilets and electricity switches."

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