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Disabled to get better access to devices to lead fuller lives

[ 2012-11-16 10:59] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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The government is working hard to improve disabled people's access to devices that can assist them, said a senior official from China Disabled Persons' Federation on Thursday.

Sun Xiande, vice-president of the federation, said the government is also encouraging more companies and organizations to participate in research and development of mechanical aids and devices for the disabled.

Sun made the remarks at the opening ceremony for the Care and Rehabilitation Expo China 2012, held in Beijing.

The three-day event attracted more than 240 exhibitors from 16 countries including Italy, Sweden and Japan.

"Although the industry for devices has huge market potential, it is still fledging," said Chen Zhensheng, director of the China Assist Devices and Technology Center for Persons with Disabilities.

China is home to 85 million people with disabilities and 185 million people aged 60 or older.

"Studies show that about 90 percent of the disabled and at least one-third of the elderly need devices to assist them," he said.

However, the reality in China is that less than 7 percent of people living in rural areas can access aid facilities and the coverage rate in cities is only 12 percent, Chen said, citing the results of an official survey in 2011.

Insufficient government subsidies, poor customer recognition of products and domestic companies' low manufacturing capability to produce diversified products all contribute to the situation, he said.

"There are less than 300 companies in China producing assist devices for the disabled, and most of them just manufacture basic equipment such as manual wheelchairs, walking sticks and hearing aids," he said.

The government has realized that poor access to assist devices has prevented the disabled from fully integrating into society and it has taken measures to change the situation, he said.

The 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) outlined plans for the government to invest more than 1 billion yuan ($160 million) to help more people with disabilities to buy and use enabling devices, he said.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Disabled to get better access to devices to lead fuller lives

About the broadcaster:

Disabled to get better access to devices to lead fuller lives

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.