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Press Release

UN Convention promotes people with disabilities' equal participation

The Government was committed to promoting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Hong Kong to enhance equal opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the community, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said today (December 30).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Jockey Club Arts for the Disabled Scheme Annual Performance 2009, Mr Cheung said the convention has been applied to Hong Kong since August 31 last year to foster the participation of people with disabilities on an equal basis as the able-bodied in various community activities. They may take part in arts and cultural activities to develop their artistic potential.

Mr Cheung said, "Promoting people with disabilities to take part in arts and cultural activities is an effective way to help them integrate into society. We will provide a barrier-free environment to give them more performance opportunities.

"I hope tonight's performance will let more people appreciate the significance of equal participation in arts activities and inspire them to support people with disabilities to participate in the community and contribute to society," he said.

"We will also organise a wide range of district publicity activities to promote the convention's spirit of equality, accessibility and inclusion as well as to encourage people with disabilities to take part in various social, arts and cultural activities on an equal basis."

The Jockey Club Arts for the Disabled Scheme, which is subsidised by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and administered by the Labour and Welfare Bureau, aims to offer basic training to people with disabilities in the arts and cultural fields. It has offered training to more than 6,000 students in special schools and 1,000 people with disabilities each year since its inception in 2003.

The annual performance was organised by the Labour and Welfare Bureau in association with the Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong. It carried the theme of "Towards Excellence", which meant that people of different ages and with different abilities had enhanced their artistic skills through the Jockey Club Arts for the Disabled Scheme in the past six years and that they would be able to show their talents in the annual performance.

Ends/Wednesday, December 30, 2009