SCMP Saturday, September 29, 2001

HKU backs equal opportunities

Your article "Practical problems mar new code for disabled" (Education Post, September 22) referred to the stance of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) on the Disability Discrimination Ordinance Code of Practice on Education. I would like to clarify that HKU has always been in support of equal opportunities and supports the new code as it provides guidelines in preventing disability discrimination.
In fact, HKU's efforts to promote equal opportunity started as early as 1994, before the enactment of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Disability Discrimination Ordinance. HKU has designated staff and funding for helping students with a disability to pursue their studies, such as making Braille versions of academic works for students with visual impairment. Moreover, there is an ongoing project to improve the accessibility problems on campus such as installing ramps, providing non-slip eye-catching stair treads, proper handrails and directional signs.
HKU also has a written policy and procedures for handling cases of sexual harassment. Besides, it set up the Equal Opportunities Unit in 2000 to promote equal opportunity on campus and handle discrimination complaints.
The expected difficulties, such as staff training, are not impossible to solve. The purpose of the campus-wide consultation on the new code is to find out the best way to implement it. Readers should be assured that HKU is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities and the proper implementation of the code.
Equal Opportunity Officer

University of Hong Kong