Honours for the 'heroes' who help the blind in HK

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 March, 2009, 12:00am

Plenty of blind people living in Hong Kong hold down successful jobs. But there are also plenty who don't have jobs, or could do with assistance from the community, sometimes in the form of mentors to help their sighted children do homework, or to increase awareness about what it means to be blind.

Which is why the Federation of the Blind has set up an annual awards scheme to laud the 'Heroes for a Barrier-free City'. Those honoured can be people or organisations who, says the federation's Tony Shing Li-lim, have gone over and above their duty to make sight-impaired people an integral part of the community.

Last Sunday, 10 awards were handed out to individuals such as Commercial Radio broadcaster Wong Wing, 'who publicly advocates policies for those with disabilities, and campaigns for a 50 per cent reduction in transport costs for them', Shing said.

Handing out the awards were Mandy Tam Heung-man, a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission, and Stephen Sui Wai-keung, the commissioner for rehabilitation.

Private businesswoman Angel Cheung received an award for employing 12 blind people at her beauty products company, including as an IT technician, a secretary and masseurs.

Local charity Crossroads Foundation was also given an award for its Blind X-perience scheme that was recently set up at its Tuen Mun headquarters. The programme takes visitors on a tour in the dark, where they can hear, feel and touch, but cannot see. They are assisted by blind guides.