Dis­abled should be wel­comed as part of so­ci­ety

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - A VISU­ALLY IM­PAIRED

res­i­dent in Bei­jing was board­ing a bus with her guide dog when she was stopped by the con­duc­tor who said no dogs were al­lowed on board. With the help of other pas­sen­gers, Zhou Lei fi­nally per­suaded the con­duc­tor to let her get on the bus, but dur­ing the jour­ney the con­duc­tor kept say­ing that she shouldn’t bring a dog on a bus. Bei­jing Times com­mented on Mon­day:

The bus con­duc­tor shouldn’t be blamed be­cause it hasn’t been ex­plic­itly reg­u­lated that a guide dog is al­lowed on a bus in Bei­jing, and the space in­side a bus is lim­ited.

But not all cities treat guide dogs the same way. In East China’s Jiangsu prov­ince, guide dogs are per­mit­ted on pub­lic trans­port.

To re­spect the guide dogs is to re­spect the rights of peo­ple who are blind or visu­ally im­paired.

In Bei­jing, there are roughly 50,000 blind peo­ple but only 20 guide dogs. The per­cent­age is far below the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard.

There are about 6 mil­lion blind peo­ple in China. Some peo­ple ask: If there are so many blind peo­ple in the coun­try, why can’t we see them? The an­swer is self-ev­i­dent. When the blind are not al­lowed to take their guide dogs on pub­lic trans­port, how are they to go out? When dis­crim­i­na­tion against them still ex­ists, when their le­git­i­mate rights are not pro­tected, how can blind peo­ple feel in­cluded in so­ci­ety?

No won­der few blind peo­ple are spot­ted in the streets, es­pe­cially as the blind tracks in the pave­ments are fre­quently ob­structed and guide dogs are banned from pub­lic spa­ces.

More blind peo­ple should be freed from vir­tual hide-outs in their homes so they can par­tic­i­pate in and make their con­tri­bu­tions to so­ci­ety.

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