The education of China's disabled children has been in the spotlight recently, as the nation's capital plays host to the world's Paralympians.
On Wednesday, national Teachers' Day, President Hu Jintao visited a school for the deaf in Henan province, where he praised the hard work and dedication of its teachers who brought "sunshine and hope" into the lives of their students.
"The cause of education for disabled people deserves respect from all of society," he said.
Hu also spoke with students about the significance of the Paralympics, and encouraged them to strive for a better future with the help of society and their teachers.
Also on Wednesday, Sun Xiande, deputy director-general of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, said the government will this year spend 600 million yuan ($87.46 million) on 190 new schools for the disabled.
The amount is 10 times what the government spent on education for the disabled in the whole of the decade between 1991 and 2001, he said.
There has been a "remarkable improvement" in the range of education available for people with disabilities, including basic education, vocational training and higher studies, he said.
According to figures from the federation, by the end of last year, there were 1,667 schools for children with impaired vision or hearing, and intellectual disabilities. About 580,000 disabled students enrolled for school last year, up from just 47,200 in 1986, it said.
Also, the law on the protection of disabled persons was amended in July to ensure their rights to access "ordinary" schools, including universities and colleges.