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17 May, 2015

China opens hotline for the disabled

(Xinhua) BEIJING, May 14 — China opened the 12385 hotline to provide consultation and guidance for disabled people, according to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF).

The hotline offers details on disability-related laws, regulations, judicial explanations and department-specific policies as well as guidance on rehabilitation, education, employment, poverty relief and cultural and sports activities, the CDPF said in a statement.

Live discussion for the new hotline is available for 8:00-12:00 a.m. and 1:00-5:00 p.m. on weekdays, with machine guidance during the off time.

Despite fast economic development, China has yet to create an ideal environment for its disabled population. Occasional complaints were made public over ramps obstructed, special toilets used as storage rooms, employment discriminations and other issues.

Last month, Beijing announced it will add 800 more barrier-free cabs to its taxi fleet in 2015 to the existing 70 — a legacy from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Such a taxi has rotated assisted seats so that a disabled person can get in and out of the car with ease. It also offers more space in the back of the car and provides easier access for wheelchairs.

The CDPF also plans to put into operation an online system that will enable disabled people to submit complaints via the CDPF’s official website on Sunday.