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China is ready for the 2008 Paralympic Games – let the games begin!



A volunteer helps move the wheelchair of French athlete Nicolas Peifer into a barrier-free taxi in front of the Main Press Center in Beijing Sept. 4, 2008. 


Many barrier-free facilities were installed in buses, taxis and subway stations, making it more convenient for disable people to get on and off.






Disabled People’s 
Welfare As Paralympics 
Draws Near

BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua  CHINAVIEW ) — Chinese awareness of the welfare of its 83 million disabled population is rising as its capital prepares to host the Paralympics, which starts in two days.

    During its seven years of preparation for the Olympics and Paralympics, Beijing took account of the needs of disabled people when updating public facilities.

    Each of the city’s 123 subway stations now has at least one entrance equipped with a wheelchair lift, according to the subway company. 


    Beijingers are seeing more public buses with lowered doors, toilets with assistive devices and warning systems on the streets.

    Parks, tourist sites, including some heritage sites like the Forbidden City, and museums have modified their facilities to be accessible for the disabled. All Chinese airports have adopted accessible designs.

    Banks and post offices in some cities also provide service in sign language.

    ”We plan to help all households with disabled members in Beijing modify their residences before the end of 2010,”

 said DingXiangyang, the city’s vice mayor. So far, the city has extending funding for about 5,000 such households to install assistive facilities.




    ”I am very happy to see many disabled but smart students are now able to get a higher education,” 

said Li Caimao, recalling his struggle to go to college 18 years ago.

    Li, now an official of the Beijing government department for disabled people’s affairs, had to take the annual college entry exam three times before he found a school willing to enroll him.

    ”At that time, many departments in colleges refused disabled students. 

Now it is different. 

Once you pass the exam, you are in,” he said.

    For those receiving compulsory pre-college education, the country has waived tuition and incidental expenses and given them free textbooks.


    ”Through these steps, many disabled children have been able to go to school and their families bore fewer financial burdens,” 

said Ma Wanyu, a hearing disabled teacher in Jixi, a city in northeastern Heilongjiang Province.

    Better education and preferential policies helped many disabledpeople find jobs and develop careers.

    Radio host Yang Qingfeng, suffering from low vision, set up a radio program studio. Most of his colleagues are also vision disabled. 

They produce audio programs to help the blind in daily life, such as how to cook and travel.


    ”Being vision-disabled ourselves, we know what our audiences want to hear. 

For instance, we will tell them how to go somewhere at a very detailed level, such as pressing which button in the elevator,” he said.

    In the Paralympics, China will send its largest delegation since 1984, with 547 members including 332 athletes.

    Many disabled people will serve as volunteers. In the Olympic core area, 12 wheelchair users will guide tourists and audience members. In the Paralympic Village, 10 blind massage specialists will serve athletes from across the world. 

At the opening and closing ceremonies, disabled artists will give the global audience wonderful performances. 



Photo taken on Aug. 27, 2008 shows the barrier-free sign at a subway station in Beijing, capital of China. 

Photo taken on Aug. 27, 2008 shows the barrier-free sign on the ground at a subway station in Beijing, capital of China. 

Photo taken on Sept. 2, 2008 shows a Braille menu at a restaurant in Beijing, capital of China. 

Many service sectors such as restaurants and shopping malls have established obstacle-free facilities as the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games approaches.








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