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Olympic guide helps disabled make the most of Beijing
By Lan Tian (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-07-19 07:53

Wheelchair-bound Gao Bin, a resident of Beijing, said on Friday she was delighted with her free copy of The Guide to Barrier-free Services for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"Due to my disability, I seldom go out. This guide will help me a lot, as it shows where I can get a barrier-free bus, and which restaurants have disabled access," the 56-year-old said.

"It will be especially useful during the Games, as my daughter and I were lucky enough to get two tickets for the volleyball competition," she told China Daily.

Liu Shuqin, a 58-year-old Olympic volunteer, said: "After reading the guide, I'm confident that disabled people from around the world will enjoy their time in Beijing."

The guidebook, published by BOCOG, was released on Friday to mark the 50-day countdown to the Paralympics. The organizers gave out 70,000 free copies to disabled people in the capital and Olympic volunteers.

Huang Keying, the book's editor and a BOCOG official, said: "The guide has been printed in four versions - Chinese, English, Chinese Braille, and English Braille - and we will give out more than 560,000 copies to disabled spectators, foreign athletes, journalists, the elderly and anyone else who needs it."

The book was edited in line with guidelines set by the International Olympic Committee, she said.

As well as facts about disabled access at Olympic venues, the guide provides details of barrier-free tourist spots, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, post offices, banks and hospitals, and even maps of how to find them, she said.

Zhang Zhenliang, the vice-director of BOCOG's volunteer department, said: "We will continue to publish and update the guide after the Olympics, so it can benefit even more people."

(China Daily 07/19/2008 page3)