In the next 20 to 30 years we will see a significant demographic shift in the population of Hong Kong with a greater proportion of the elderly. It must be acknowledged that persons with a disability and the elderly are as much a part of our society as everyone else, would require better integration of facilities for barrier free access. During the review of the “Design Manual : Barrier Free Access 1997”, some of the standards in providing more reasonable and clearer guidelines have been re-examined. Those provisions that were open to interpretation have been refined to remove any possible ambiguities. Those provisions that were considered not necessary have been proposed to be relaxed after considering local conditions and users’ requirements. In addition, the scope of the Manual has also been expanded to include provision of facilities for the elderly to enhance their health and safety and to facilitate their movement within buildings. 4. The “barrier-free” design requirements, newly introduced design considerations and recommended design requirements aim to facilitate greater independence of not only persons with a disability and the elderly but also people with other forms of physical infirmities or limitations such as pregnant women, families with young children. It is intended that the implementation of this Design Manual will result in greater awareness of the public, professionals and developers who will come to appreciate the value of making the built-environment more accessible .

Author Buildings Departament The Government Honk Kong special Adiministrative region