Beijing Goes Disabled Friendly Ahead of Paralympics

by Hannah Punitha on Aug 31 2008 4:55 PM

 Beijing Goes Disabled Friendly Ahead of Paralympics
The municipal government in Beijing has invested about 67 million Yuan (10 million U.S. dollars) for building barrier-free facilities in 60 tourist attractions ahead of the Paralympics.
According to Xinhua, the facilities include 12,028 square meters of wheelchair ramps and 3,183 meters of handrails.

The authorities have pledged to give normal life to the country's one million disabled population.

For instance, a popular clothes market in Beijing now has a 160-meter blind road leading to the entrance way and 16 parking slots for disabled shoppers.

There are over 100 road signs in the shopping market, receptionists at the service desk, who can use sign language to give shopping guide, and two lifts to enable the disabled to reach the top of the Great wall of China.

A wheelchair ramp to ascend people to the Badaling section of the Wall has also been put in place, Xinhua reports.

The 600-year-old Palace Museum, or the Forbidden City, has a 1,000-meter long barrier-free pathway to allow visitors on wheelchairs go down along the central axis of the palace.

Elevators have been installed in three main buildings in the imperial palace to avoid disabled people from climbing thirty steps to reach top layers for a bird view.

The agency quoted Tang Xiaoquan, executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, as saying that the work on barrier-free facilities enables the disabled persons from home and abroad to learn more about the social progress of Beijing.

Tang, who is also a senior official of the China Disabled Persons' Federation said that Beijing will add 16 bus routes leading to the Games venues, and put 400 disable-access buses in use during the Sept. 6-17 Games, which will draw about 4,000 disabled athletes from around the world to compete.


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