Life made easier for those facing difficulties

By CAO YIN | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-01 07:34
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A grocery market in Fuzhou, Fujian province, has made visits easier for the elderly. LIN SHANCHUAN/XINHUA

Broad participation

The law is aimed at responding to public concerns over constructing accessible facilities, Shi stressed, adding that drafting the legislation received widespread attention from various walks of life.

In addition to the suggestion made by Wang, the NPC deputy, more than 50,000 disabled and elderly residents gave their opinions during formulation of the law, Shi said.

Some people submitted suggestions to the NPC Standing Committee in person, or through its website or postal service, while others shared their ideas through grassroots stations for collecting opinions, Shi added.

In 2015, the commission launched an initiative to help the public submit opinions on legislation directly to the top legislature. These grassroots stations, some of them located in communities and colleges, have since played a significant role in encouraging more people to take part in drawing up legislation for a barrier-free environment, Shi said.

Xie Renci, a 26-year-old amputee, was one of those who gave their opinions. She provided suggestions about the law through such a station in Jianghai district, Jiangmen city, Guangdong province.

Losing a leg when she was 4 due to a traffic accident, Xie received a bachelor's degree in law at Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing in 2019. She is now a doctoral candidate studying disability law at Syracuse University in the United States.

She said she fully understands that some disabled people are reluctant to go out because of a lack of accessible facilities. Some injuries and deaths have resulted from a poor barrier-free environment, Xie added.

"I didn't want to go out when I studied in the hilly city of Chongqing, as it's inconvenient. I spent a lot of time going from my dormitory to a classroom, and there was no elevator in the six-floor teaching building," she said.

"Walking to the classroom took nearly all my strength. If I dragged along a suitcase or carried something, I became even more exhausted. I felt as though I didn't belong at that school and in Chongqing at such times, as those who built the facilities didn't seem to take people like myself into consideration."

Xie said such experiences prompted her to start researching the construction of accessible facilities and to continue studying disability law in the US.

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