Paralympics Bring Forward Plight of China’s Disabled

Peter Ford of The Christian Science Monitor reports on the increased — yet still low — awareness of China’s disabled citizens with the arrival of the Beijing Paralympic Games.

The Paralympic Games that opened here Saturday are drawing tens of thousands of spectators to venues across Beijing. Hardly any of them, though, are disabled.

Even at the premier global event celebrating handicapped peoples’ achievements, China’s 83 million disabled citizens remain almost invisible, victims of a society slow to change its attitudes and a government that only recently began addressing their needs.

Officials and activists for the disabled, however, hope the Games will give fresh momentum to changes they say have been under way for some time, giving disabled people more of a role in Chinese society.

For more information on China’s disabled, see a flash slideshow by China Disabled People’s Federation.

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