LYU Shiming: Judging a society by its accessible environments and independence for wheelchair users

2020-04-09 Institute for Accessibility Develeopment


LYU Shiming, Vice Chairman, China Disabled Persons' Federation & Director of the Management Council of the Institute of Accessibility Development, Tsinghua University

Less than 10% of homes for people with disabilities are accessible

"I suggested that the relevant government would speed up the home remodeling for poor people, so as to help them get rid of poverty." On March 22, LYU Shiming, the member of National People's Congress and Vice Chairman of CDPF, told the ChinaTimes that with the high attention of governments at all levels, China's accessible environment construction has made great progress. The State Council implemented the regulations on building accessible environments and incorporated it into public services several years ago. The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Transport, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Finance and other ministries and commissions have issued a series of measures to promote the advancement of accessible environments in urban and rural areas in the past few years. These indicate that the accessible environments have been improved unprecedentedly, which in turn facilitates social participation and displays a positive image of human rights protection in China.


As the reporter searches, the State Council has promulgated the regulations on building accessible environments for more than five years, which indicates the government's determination on social inclusion and accessibility development. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, regulations, policies, and standards on accessibility, as well as accessible environments in rural areas, information accessibility, and accessible services have been continuously improved. For many years, China Disabled Persons' Federation, together with relevant departments and social parties, has been committed to promoting the construction of accessible environments throughout the whole country.


In terms of the home remodeling on accessibility for poor people with disabilities, first of all, there is an urgent need and a wide range of work to do. According to the data collected by the CDPF in 2017, approximately 3.319 million families with disabilities required renovating their homes with accessible design, but only 3.15% of them finished their house renovations on accessibility. Secondly, the quality of reconstruction is relatively low. Due to the limitation of funds and other objective conditions, the accessible renovation only focuses on ramps and handrails, which is not in line with the needs and expectation people with disabilities have.

It is suggested to increase the number of accessible renovations

President Xi emphasized that people with disabilities must not be left behind to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.


At present, China has entered the decisive stage of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. The home remodeling on accessibility for poor people with disabilities is important to ensure the basic livelihood for people with disabilities. It is also fundamental to alleviate poverty for the persons with disabilities.


Based on the regulations on building accessible environments which explicitly explain that people with disabilities attempting to have house renovations on accessibility should get subsidies from their local government finances, LYU Shiming recommended that the relevant state ministries and commissions should work together to increase the number and improve the quality of accessible renovations for people with disabilities. At the same time, it is suggested that governments at all levels make annual plans on the construction of accessible environments and put them into practice.

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