on 16 July 1996
LEGCO PANEL ON PLANNING, LANDS AND WORKS
DESIGN MANUAL : BARRIER FREE ACCESS 1996
To brief Members on the draft Design Manual : Barrier Free Access 1996, which aims to improve the provision of access to buildings and facilities therein for people with a disability.
2. The draft design manual is an updated version of the Design Manual : Access for the Disabled 1984, following the enactment of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (Ordinance 86/95) in mid-1995, which enshrines the right of people with a disability to have proper access to buildings and facilities therein.
3. The new design manual, when it comes into operation, will generally apply to newly constructed and substantially altered private buildings. Relevant government departments will also refer to it in the design and construction of government and public buildings.
4. The requirements in the new design manual fall into two categories -
- obligatory requirements must be complied with, unless the building owner can prove that any of them, individually or jointly, will impose unjustified hardship on him/her; and
- recommended requirements to which building owners and professionals may refer in providing access and/or special facilities that are above the minimum standards for the use of people with a disability.
5. To ensure effective implementation of the obligatory requirements set out in the new design manual, Government will, where appropriate, consider putting them into the relevant legislation.
6. With the main provisions of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance coming into operation, a person may lodge a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission or take legal action for rectification where any obligatory requirements are not complied with. We believe the Equal Opportunities Commission or the court may refer to the design manual as it sees fit.
7. The draft design manual was circulated on 26 June 1996 for comments from social service organizations, professional bodies, and concerned corporations and institutions.
8. We will finalize the new design manual before the end of this year.
A copy of the draft design manual is at Annex.
Planning, Environment and Lands Branch
Last Updated on 21 Aug, 1998