Full Text: Progress in China's Human Rights in 2013 (15)

VII. Rights of Persons with Disabilities

China has 85 million disabled people. The Chinese government has developed its programs for disabled people in a planned way in accordance with the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons, Program for Disabled Persons during the 12th Five-year Plan and the Outline of Development-oriented Poverty Reduction for Disabled Persons in Rural Areas (2011-2020). In the meantime, it also commits itself to the duties defined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, actively implements the third Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2013-2022)-Incheon Strategy, and promotes the coordinated development of disabled people and socioeconomic progress, so that the protection of disabled persons in China has risen to a higher and more standard level.

Rehabilitation programs for disabled persons are being carried out in an orderly manner. The Chinese government has improved the work mechanism for disabled persons' rehabilitation, aiming to make sure that every disabled person has access to rehabilitation services. It encourages disability-rehabilitation entities and medical institutions to strengthen their ties so as to establish a three-tier rehabilitation medical system within which the two assume different responsibilities and cooperate closely with mutually complementary abilities. China has enacted the Standards of Screening for Disabilities Among 0-6 Year-old Children (Trial), and, according to which, the rehabilitation of disabled children is moved ahead by establishing an institution of early disability screening, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. At the same time, community rehabilitation is further developed. Rehabilitation services are provided to disabled people inside their communities and homes, with 2,862 community demonstration stations being supported. The role of parent-training schools is emphasized in China. In 2013, 1,131 disability rehabilitation entities conducted the training of the parents of disabled children. The Chinese government launched the "Project of Fostering Hundreds of World Top-notch Rehabilitation Experts, Thousands of Domestic Leading Rehabilitation Specialists and Ten Thousands of Young Rehabilitation Talents," training some 256,000 management and professional personnel at various levels and of various kinds nationwide in 2013, including 25,000 rehabilitation management staff, 55,000 rehabilitation specialists and 177,000 community rehabilitation coordinators.

A series of key rehabilitation projects is being carried out. By 2013 there were 901 city districts and 2,014 counties or county-level cities in China that provided community rehabilitation services. In the same year an additional 1.69 million disabled people enjoyed such services, and 7.468 million disabled people were rehabilitated to various degrees, among whom 746,000 received cataract surgery, 32,000 children with hearing impairments received hearing restoration or language training, and 153,000 children with intellectual disabilities, brain paralysis or autistic disorders received training guidance in rehabilitation institutions and their communities and families. The Chinese government helped 6,721 physically handicapped children from poor families and 418 disabled persons suffering from leprosy to receive surgery, and provided comprehensive rehabilitation services to 5.84 million patients with mental impairments, and provided remedial aid to 469,000 mentally impaired patients in poverty. A total of 1.283 million assistance devices were offered to people with disabilities, among which 329,000 were provided for free by the National Public Welfare Lottery Foundation.

The system of safeguarding and promoting disabled persons' access to education and employment is being improved, with the emphasis on the enrolment of disabled children who were registered as having not attended school. China has drawn up the Promotion Plan for Special Education (2014-2016), expanded the coverage of compulsory education, developed preschool education for disabled children in different ways according to different local conditions, accelerated the progress of disabled teenagers' senior high school-level education, centering on vocational education, and improved higher-learning education for disabled people. The Chinese government increased financial input, enhanced the quality and quantity of teachers, and further improved curriculum for disabled people. It continued to implement the Plan for Building Special Schools (Phase II), providing 800 million yuan of specialized funds to support the building of 27 normal colleges for special education and middle and higher-learning schools for disabled people. The central government provided another 55 million yuan of special subsidies to strengthen the special school building in ten central and western provinces. A national special disability lottery program was held, raising funds for 10,000 disabled children from poverty-stricken families to have access to preschool education and for 23 special middle or higher-learning schools to improve their teaching facilities and practical training centers. There were 7,538 disabled students enrolled by ordinary institutions of higher-learning in 2013. The government drew up the Opinions on Promoting the Employment of Disabled Persons in Proportion to Total Employment, increasing the skill training opportunities and job posts for disabled people. Over the year, 369,000 disabled people were employed and 480,000 received training in urban areas; in rural areas 856,000 received training in practical skills. The government encouraged and supported welfare enterprises so as to promote the employment of disabled persons and ensure their equal status in society. By 2013, there were 18,000 welfare enterprises in China, employing a total of 542,000 disabled people. (more)