China enhances measures for disabled, focusing on education and rehabilitation

China 24

Wearable robots are among the features of this fall’s Care and Rehabilitation Expo in Beijing.

The expo highlights the latest technology to aid the disabled and elderly.

As CGTN’s Frances Kuo reports, it’s one of the steps China is taking to enhance disability services.

It was a warm welcome home earlier this month for the Chinese Paralympic curling team.

They had captured the gold at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

“I can feel your great enthusiasm,” exclaimed Wang Haitao, of the curling team. “Thank you, thank you for your support to sports for people with disabilities and wheelchair curling.”

The victory was a milestone for China – not just a first in curling but the first ever for China at the Paralympics.

“I think this gold medal is highly significant, not only because it is our athletes who have won it, but also because of all the efforts from our supporters and leaders,” said Yue Qingshuang, head coach of the curling team.

Those efforts, focused on education and rehabilitation, were among topics discussed during the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress.

The measures include a database wit h information on the needs of registered disabled people.

“Every disabled person has 40 indicators showing their demands and the quality of services they have received,” Lu Yong, president of the Executive Board of China Disabled Persons’ Federation said.  “Every village or community has ten relevant indicators and these indicators are changing dynamically every year. The database will be an important basis for us to make problem-solving oriented efforts to help disabled children and people become well-to-do with the rest of society.”

Lu Yong said the most vulnerable are those with severe disabilities, and those living in the countryside where resources and the quality of education are more limited.

“A special national action plan of disability prevention has also come into force, which has promoted accurate action of rehabilitation specially for children. Next, we’ll speed up working out measures to tackle the emergency rescue of disabled children,” said Lu Yong.

The Chinese government said five million disabled people have been lifted out of poverty in the past five years.

But, challenges remain.

“There are 2.8 million registered disabled people who still live in poverty,” said Lu Yong. “In the next step, our work will focus on these people and on guaranteeing their food, clothes, compulsory education, basic medical care and accommodation.”

But Lu Yong said it’s a team effort requiring help beyond that offered by the government.

“We hope that more volunteers will join us in the education of disabled children, and more volunteers will come and teach these children at their home,” said Lu Yong.

The reforms are encouraging for China’s Paralympic champions who are already looking towards the next Games.

“It only symbolizes the beginning of the development of our curling sports for people with disabilities,” said Yue.  “We will keep the momentum and strive for greater achievements at home in 2022.”

Karen Fisher on China’s disability services

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to Karen Fisher about the quality of China’s disability services. Fisher is a professor in the Social Policy Research Centre, at the University of New South Wales.