Monday, October 19, 2009


Australia would do well to emulate aspects of life here in Hong Kong. For instance, my sister Lauren, in her accounts of her Hong Kong adventure on her blog mentioned how handy it was to be able to recharge her mobile phone at the local shopping centre. We have noticed other conveniences in public places, such as the following:

Free internet for limited periods of time at train stations and shopping centres.

Free antibacterial gel for washing your hands.

Free plastic bags for your wet dripping umbrella on a rainy day.

I have been especially interested to observe many facilities to aid in the mobility of people who are visually impaired here in Hong Kong. For instance, the lifts have Braille panels. There are auditory cues to locate the escalators at train stations. Tirzah likes to walk along the staggered dots in square grids on the floor which lead to stairs, tactile maps, or other items of interest or changes in travel direction.

This is an example of a tactile map for visually impaired people.

This one is located at Sha Tin train station. You can follow the sound of the piped music until you reach it. Then you push the button at the bottom to hear spoken directions or feel the Braille/raised ridges with your hands to guide you to your destination. It is designed by computers and cut by lasers.

With regards to people with hearing impairments, I have seen signs advertising assistive listening systems such as induction loops similar to those in Australia. I haven't come across any interpreters for the Deaf... YET.

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