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Blocked ramp restricts disabled athlete

[ 2009-12-04 13:12]     字号 [] [] []  
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Former champion gymnast and disabled rights activist Sang Lan has criticized her local community members who block the wheelchair ramp with bicycles and motorcycles.

The 27-year-old woman, who is paralyzed from the chest down after suffering a spinal injury at the Goodwill Games in New York 10 years ago, said she has had trouble accessing the ramp since moving in to Jijingqinyuan community in Wangjing last month.

In a Nov 25 post on sina.com, Sang said she needs the assistance of the property management company because many of her neighbors are Korean and she has difficulty communicating with them.

A spokesman surnamed Wang from the property management firm said there were notices near the ramp reminding residents to keep the area free.

A new notice was placed near the ramp this week to state bicycles would be moved to the car park if they remained in the area.

Sang, a former national pole vault champion, said she felt satisfied by the response.

Sang has been an avid defender of the rights of disabled people and had previously taken on airlines for not being disabled-friendly.

The director surnamed Liu from the communication department of China Disabled Persons' Federation said the rights of disabled people are often ignored.

Liu said the city has disabled-friendly transport and services following a massive investment for the 2008 Paralympic Games, but the mindset of citizens lags far behind.

"All the community buildings built after 2002 in Beijing are required to be installed with facilities for disabled people. However, sometimes people just don't show their support and often occupy them so they cannot serve those who are really in need," said Liu.

China yesterday marked the 18th International Day of Disabled Persons, but "there is still a lot of work to do, especially in regards to raising awareness and respect for disabled people," he said.

Xu Zhenhua, a resident who lives in Sang's community, said he understood his neighbor's frustration and the inconvenience for all disabled people when facilities like wheelchair ramps were blocked.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Blocked ramp restricts disabled athlete

About the broadcaster:

Blocked ramp restricts disabled athlete

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.