|Lusina Ho (left) & Rebecca Lee (right)|
Congratulations to Rebecca Lee and Lusina Ho who were awarded the University of Hong Kong's Faculty Knowledge Exchange Award 2018. The award recognises the impact their research has had on the development of special needs trust in Hong Kong. Titling their application ‘Introducing the Special Needs Trust to Hong Kong' (為香港智障人士設立特殊需要信託), the impact from their work can be summarised as follows:
- Successfully lobbied the HKSAR Government to launch and operate a Special Needs Trust to help care for individuals with intellectual disability. The first of its kind in the world. After initiating and committing to establishing the SNT in two consecutive Policy Addresses, the Government pledged in its 2018 Budget to allocate HK$50 million to establish a dedicated office to launch the SNT.
- Empowered and partnered with NGOs to campaign for improvement of the legal regime through a variety of activities including the first territory-wide survey on parental opinions on existing financial planning tools for individuals with intellectual disability in Hong Kong, policy papers, academic publications, numerous public forums and media interviews.
- Influenced and informed policy debates on the protection of people with cognitive impairments in Hong Kong. Raised community awareness on the relevant issues.
- Sharing of Hong Kong experience with overseas jurisdictions.
The Faculty KE Awards were introduced in 2011 in order to recognise each Faculty’s outstanding KE accomplishment that has made demonstrable economic, social or cultural impacts to benefit the community, business/industry, or partner organisations. Nominations in each Faculty were considered by an Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee chaired by the Dean, and members included the Faculty representative serving on the KE Working Group, one of the Associate Directors of the Knowledge Exchange Office (KEO), and a member from outside the University. The selection criteria include evidence of the KE project’s link with excellence in research or in teaching & learning of HKU; evidence of an effective engagement process with the non-academic sector(s); and evidence of demonstrable benefits to the community, business/industry, or partner organisations.