Integration policy to go on despite attack

THE policy of integrating the disabled into the community will be upheld by the Government despite recent vandalism against a Down's Syndrome Association centre in Tung Tau Estate.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Elizabeth Wong Chien Chi-lien, said: ''We will not shrink from our policy of providing services for the disabled to help integrate them into the community.'' The centre in Tung Tau Estate, which provides services to parents of Down's Syndrome children, was attacked by vandals last week. Windows were smashed and threatening posters put up.

She said they would not be forced into putting the disabled in remote areas away from the public.

''Everyone has the right to live in the community. We will provide services to the needy and more services will be provided in more populated areas,'' she said.

''Bringing up a child is not easy. And parents of Down's Syndrome children need more help from the community,'' she said.

The Directo r of Social Welfare, Ian Strachan, said the public should expect more and more disabled people to live among them as the Governor had committed substantial amounts of expenditure in the provision of welfare services.

''There will be welfare service centres in every estate in future, public or private, and many of them will be rehabilitation centres,'' Mr Strachan said.

Mrs Wong said she would be asking whether anti-discrimination legislation should be introduced.

In addition, she said the Government would spend more money to help the public be more understanding towards the disabled.

The Housing Authority said staff in the estate would co-operate with security staff at the Down's Syndrome Association centre to step up patrols in the area.