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Disability survey aims to help form policies
By Wang Zhenghua (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-15 06:33

A nationwide survey starting from April 1 will help determine government strategies and policies to help the disabled, authorities announced yesterday.

The China Disabled Persons' Federation and a number of State agencies will conduct the survey, involving 2.6 million people in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, until the end of May, said Cheng Kai, deputy councillor of the federation.

"One important purpose of the survey is to have a better knowledge of the cause of the disabilities and provide reliable data and analysis reports for handicap prevention," Cheng said.

It is expected to provide information such as the regional distribution of disabled people, the causes of their disabilities and the type of medical treatment they receive.

The sampling will also help establish their rehabilitation, education, employment and level of participation in society. The findings are meant to offer a reliable basis to formulate disability-related laws, regulations, policies, principles and working programmes.

This will be the second such survey. "The first national sample survey in 1987 found China had about 52 million people with various kinds of disabilities," Cheng said.

The survey will use the World Health Organization's 2001 standards and classify people into six disability categories: visual, hearing, vocal disabilities, mental illness, mental disabilities and physical disabilities.

The actual number of disabled people in China is now estimated to be more than 60 million. The 2.6 million involved in the survey account for 2 per cent of the country's population.

The federation is a unified national organization of and for persons with disabilities.

About 6,000 physicians will accompany the survey workers, offering health tips and rehabilitation suggestions.

Initial results will be released in November.

(China Daily 02/15/2006 page2)

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