(5) The rights of the disabled
There are over 83 million people with various kinds of disabilities in China, accounting for 6.34 percent of the total population. The state has made great efforts to develop undertakings relating to the disabled and to beef up the building of the social security and service systems for them, providing guarantees for the legitimate rights and interests of the disabled.
- Improving the legal system to promote the development of undertakings for the disabled and to guarantee their legal rights. The state is pushing forward the formulation of the Mental Health Law, has started formulating the Regulations for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Regulations on the Construction of a Barrier-Free Environment, and other administrative rules and regulations, while encouraging local governments to revise the rules on implementing the Law on Protection of the Disabled and regulations for providing related preferential assistance.
- Promoting disability prevention, rehabilitation and other services. The state has started mapping out a national plan for preventing birth defects and reducing the number of disabled people, exploring a way to establish a mechanism for early screening and rehabilitation for children aged up to six. Supervision of labor safety and hygiene will be strengthened to prevent and minimize disabilities caused by work-related injuries and diseases. In the period 2009-2010, standardized community rehabilitation services will be carried out nationwide in 80 percent of urban districts and 70 percent of counties, providing such services to 2 million disabled people. The provision of community or household services is encouraged for people suffering from intelligence or mental disabilities and diseases, as well as for seriously disabled people.
- Promoting the construction of a barrier-free environment. Such work will be carried out in 100 cities. Assistance techniques or substitute technologies such as Braille, sign language, captions and special communication facilities are to be adopted to pave the way for the disabled to receive and send out information, and to participate in social activities. TV programs with sign language and special broadcasting programs for the disabled are to be launched, together with the subtitling of TV programs and films.
- Guaranteeing disabled people's right to education. Students with disabilities are guaranteed to benefit from relevant preferential policies of the state, and non-governmental programs to assist the disabled in schooling are also promoted. In central and western China, a batch of special-education schools will be built or expanded. Secondary vocational schools are encouraged to set up special courses for the disabled.
- Guaranteeing the disabled people's right to employment. The government will strengthen employment training for the disabled and the construction of an employment service network, standardize and develop business that offer jobs to a considerable number of disabled people at one go. It will promote compulsory hiring of disabled people in accordance with their proportion to the population at large. The protective employment system for the disabled will be improved, which includes tax deduction and exemption, and the special production and marketing of certain products by the disabled. Measures such as creating welfare work posts and providing social security subsidies will be implemented to ensure that by the year 2010 there will be 300,000 additional jobs for the disabled in cities and towns.
- Enhancing support for poverty-stricken disabled people in rural areas. Help will be provided to enable the 4 million disabled rural people who want for food and clothing to have adequate food and clothing, to enable the 400,000 disabled rural people with financial difficulties in the central and western regions to receive training in practical skills, and to enable 128,000 rural disabled people to rebuild their dilapidated houses.
- Guaranteeing the cultural and sports rights of the disabled. Disabled people will continue to use public cultural and sports facilities at a discount or free of charge. The Chinese government supports cultural programs of a public welfare nature, such as the production of cultural and artistic products for the disabled, and the publication of books for the blind. Encouragement will also be given to develop the special artistic skills of the disabled. Mass sports and fitness activities for the disabled will be promoted to boost their participation in the Paralympic Games, the Special Olympics and the Deaflympics.