The government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is committed to helping persons with disabilities to develop their artistic potential, an official said in Hong Kong on Saturday.
Speaking at the Jockey Club Arts for the Disabled Scheme annual performance, Hong Kong Secretary for Labor and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chun said the HKSAR government is seeking more performance opportunities through the provision of a barrier-free environment.
"Involving persons with disabilities in arts and cultural activities is an effective way to help them integrate into society," Cheung said.
The scheme is a pilot project for nurturing persons with disabilities in the arts and cultural fields. It offers them basic artistic training and provides performance and exhibition opportunities to develop their talent and creativity. Their involvement also enriches the cultural life of Hong Kong.
"The annual performance gives the trainees an opportunity to showcase their skills, demonstrating how persons with disabilities in different age groups and with different talents can overcome their physical constraints to perform in various programs. It is also a chance for us to appreciate the meaning of an inclusive society while we enjoy the performance tonight," said Cheung.
The theme of the performance this year, "One World, One Dream," underlines the notion that different races share the same passion and dream in the world of arts.
The Arts for the Disabled Scheme, subsidized by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and administered by the Labor and Welfare Bureau, has offered arts training programs to more than 6,000 students in special schools and more than 1,000 persons with disabilities each year since its inception in 2003.
(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2008)