IDDP – Ocean Park Fun Day 2015 Welcomes 8,000 Participants
Ocean Park Continues to Optimise Barrier-free Facilities to Foster Social Inclusion
Queue Assistance Programme Served over 2,000 Guests since Launched Last Year
(29 November 2015 - Hong Kong) Ocean Park hosted the International Day of Disabled Persons (IDDP) – Ocean Park Fun Day 2015 for the 23rd consecutive year, receiving 8,000 guests with disabilities, their friends and families from 18 districts in Hong Kong on 22 and 29 November. Following the opening ceremony held on 22 November, the annual event ended today with remarkable success.
The Park collaborated with The Hong Kong Society for the Deaf to arrange sign interpretation at the opening ceremony and various attractions including Ocean Theatre, Amazing Bird Theatre and Whiskers Theatre, so that guests with impaired hearing could enjoy the Park’s spectacular performances and learn about conservation knowledge. To aid guests with special needs to enjoy the Park’s facilities, the Queue Assistance Programme was launched in August last year. Under the programme, a Care Card will be given to any guest who is unable to wait in a long queue due to special health conditions, enabling the guest to gain priority access to the Park’s rides and attractions. Over 2,000 guests with special needs have been benefited from this special arrangement since its launch.
Mr Wong, who has visited Ocean Park on the IDDP Day for four consecutive years, said persons with disabilities were able to enjoy the Park’s attractions thanks to its barrier-free facilities. He explained, “I always look forward to visiting Ocean Park every year. Last year, I went to the new animal exhibit Shark Mystique, which provides various barrier-free facilities for persons with disabilities to get easy access to it. This year, I am particularly enthusiastic about having a close encounter with South Australian animals at the newly-open exhibit Adventures in Australia!”
Cheung Kin-fai, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the International Day of Disabled Persons 2015, said, “Ocean Park has been supporting the IDDP for many years, giving those with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy a weekend out with their friends and families at the Hong Kong people’s Park. At the same time, Ocean Park has shown great dedication in providing equal employment opportunities. It serves as a role model in the industry. ”
Ocean Park has been attaching great importance to guest experience. The Park makes constant effort to improve its in-Park facilities and services to ensure all guests can fully enjoy their visit to the Park.
Ocean Park’s Senior Guest Services Manager Tammy Kong said, “A while ago, a guest once expressed that he was unable to endure a long waiting time due to his health condition and sought our assistance to gain priority access to the Park’s facilities. We then made special arrangements for him and his family after considering his situation. This prompted us to conduct internal reviews and further research.” She continued, “In August last year, we launched the Queue Assistance Programme, enabling guests who have special needs to gain priority access to the Park’s facilities, thus shortening their queuing time.” Since its launch last year, the programme has assisted over 2,000 guests with special needs. Guests who are in need can contact the Park’s Guest Relations office and the Park will offer assistance in view of individual circumstances.
Brian Ho, Executive Director of Human Resources of Ocean Park, said, “Ocean Park has been in support of social integration of able-bodied and persons with disabilities. We encourage the employment of persons with disabilities. A total of 52 employees with disabilities are now working with us, accounting for 2.58% of the total workforce. Apart from supporting equal employment opportunity, the Park also equips all rides, animal exhibits and theatres with barrier-free access, allowing guests with disabilities to enjoy a hassle-free park experience. In addition, regular training courses are organised for our frontline employees. Through these courses, our staff can better understand needs of guests with disabilities, adopt the right attitude for guests with special needs, learn basic sign language and know more about the in-Park facilities tailored for guests with disabilities.” He added, “To better prepare ourselves for the IDDP Day 2015, we organised training courses for our frontline staff and supervisors which helped enhance their knowledge, attitude and skills for serving guests with disabilities.”
For the third consecutive year, Ocean Park organised the Ocean Park Selective Placement Trainee Programme, a nine-month training and internship programme for persons with disabilities. By joining the programme, participants were given a chance to acquire vocational skills and knowledge necessary for integrating into society. Being a pioneer in encouraging social integration for persons with disabilities, Ocean Park also provides reasonable adjustment in the workplace to enable them to work at the Park. The Park’s effort in being a responsible corporate citizen has brought the award of the Touching CSR Award 2014 from The Association of Distinguished Corporation earlier in September this year.