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CPPCC member: Barrier-free environment makes life easier for disabled in China


 , Updated 17:44, 04-Mar-2024

People with disabilities in China can better integrate into society with supportive policies and the progress of modern science and technology, Li Qingzhong, a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said on Monday.

Li, also the president of China Association of Persons with Visual Disabilities, made the remarks at the "Members' Corridor" on the sidelines of the Two Sessions.

China accounts for 15 percent of the world's disabled people, with the population of this special group reaching 85 million. A barrier-free environment allows them to live a normal life and integrate into society better. 

In recent years, authorities across the country have reached out to disabled households with tailored solutions, making public infrastructure and their apartments more accessible.

"Nowadays, more and more people with disabilities are contributing to our society by working in various sectors with an optimistic attitude towards life," said Li, while telling stories of three role models who remain positive in chasing their dreams despite disabilities.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), more than 50,000 students with disabilities got into institutions of higher learning and an additional 1.81 million disabled people found jobs, according to official data. By 2020, over 95 percent of disabled children had been enrolled in compulsory education.

A plan for enhancing their vocational skills in the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) was unveiled in 2022 by the China Disabled Persons' Federation and four other departments, calling for vigorous expansion of vocational skills training for the disabled.

In 2022, a three-year action plan for promoting the employment of the disabled was issued by the State Council, setting the goal of creating 1 million new jobs for disabled people by the end of 2024.

As a person with severe visual impairment, Li described how he uses public transport and smart devices in his daily life.

"The key to doing a good job is to use your head," Li said. "My motto in life is that one can be without sight, but one cannot be without vision."

(Cover image: A staff member puts on a hearing aid for a patient during an activity of the Luannan Disabled Persons' Federation in Tangshan, north China's Hebei Province, February 29, 2024. /CFP)

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