Profile: Blind lawmaker advocates for people with disabilities at "two sessions"-Xinhua

Profile: Blind lawmaker advocates for people with disabilities at "two sessions"

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-03-09 00:15:15

BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Due to visual impairment, Wang Yongcheng can not see the magnificent interior of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, but that does not stop him from navigating the gargantuan building to pursue his ambitions.

A newly elected deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, Wang is working to represent China's 85 million people with disabilities during the country's most important legislative and democratic event.

"My mission is to amplify the voices of people with disabilities, and make suggestions to help resolve their problems," Wang, also vice chair of the China Association of the Blind, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the "two sessions."

The "two sessions" are the annual meetings of the national legislature and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body. The event has gathered thousands of national legislators and political advisors to review government reports and other legal documents, and discuss issues of public interest.

Wang has brought two suggestions to this year's NPC gathering, including one on the licensing of blind masseurs and their clinics.

China has issued licenses to tens of thousands of people with partial or full blindness to recognize their "medical masseur" profession as a way of improving their incomes. After research among practitioners, Wang found that in reality, these licenses are often unrecognized by the country's medical system, leading to difficulties in the registration of many such massage parlors.

Wang thus proposed the reform of the digital registration system for blind masseurs and clinics to the National Health Commission (NHC) and other relevant agencies.

"Resolving their job registration issues can help more people with visual impairments secure stable jobs, thus consolidating their gains in the battle against poverty," he said in a speech during an NPC group discussion.

Wang's second suggestion concerns the provision of large-font textbooks for students with visual impairments who are enrolled in regular schools.

The lawmaker said that discussions with other deputies and officials who sat in at the event had helped him improve his proposals. "The NHC officials have brought back my suggestion on blind masseurs, and I have exchanged contact information with the NPC organizers so that they can brief me on the handling of my proposal regularly," he said.

"Good suggestions from the public can be channeled easily and result in solutions to resolve people's problems. This is what the whole-process people's democracy looks like in my opinions," Wang said.

After the conclusion of the major political season, Wang will return home with the latest information on positive policies for people with disabilities, and he plans to engage in campaigns to raise policy awareness.

The legislator testified to the steadily improving living conditions of this population group, thanks to continuous attention and increasing investments from the Party, the state and society.

"During the NPC session, I was offered a Braille computer in my hotel room and a barrier-free car took me to and from the Great Hall of the People. The conference secretariat made a call to establish my needs so that I could perform my duties with ease," he said.

The report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, held in October last year, pledged to improve the social security and service systems for people with disabilities, and to promote the comprehensive development of related programs.

"I will convey to my friends with disabilities that the entire country is lighting the path for us," Wang said. "In the meantime, we're all contributors to China's construction of a great modern socialist country."

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