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Anshan and People with Disabilities in Anshan

The city of Anshan locates in south of Liaoning Province, China. The population of the city is around 3,396,000. Owning to the largest steel company, Anshan used to be a city with glory and affluence in China. It was called “the Capital of Iron and Steel” of the country. But in recent years, many state-owned companies and enterprises got bankrupt or shrinked because of the change from planed-economy to market-economy. In Anshan, many people lost their jobs.

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There are about 120,000 people registered with various disabilities in Anshan. The reasons for the disabilities are mainly congenital diseases or injuries from industry or traffic accidents. Like many other places in China, most people with disabilities in Anshan are living in poverty. Except for those injuried in working settings, most disabled people have no fixed income. They can only live on “the lowest life subsidy” form the government, which is hardly enough for their daily need.

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On the other hand, most resident and public buildings in the city (or in most parts of China) have no elevator service. So most people with mobility limitations have to stay at home all the time, totally isolated from the society. For those with severe disabilities, they usually cannot afford to pay for somebody to take care of their daily needs. The only caregiver usually is their families, or aged parents in many cases.

As a result of the undeveloped national welfare system, the basic life of many people with disabilities still cannot be met. Many paralyzed people cannot afford a wheelchair and have to stay in bed all the time; Many children with cerebral palsy never afford to have a rehabilitation, therefore miss the best time of rehabilitation therapy. At the same time, other problems occur along with poverty, like lack of education, rehabilitation, and health problem. Because of the expensive medical service, many disabled persons cannot afford to go to hospital when they get ill. Under such circumstances, necessary functional rehabilitation obviously is a luxe for them.

In the past several years, great efforts have been made by Chinese government and Chinese Disabled People’s Federation to help people with disabilities meet their basic need. But due to the limitation in policy, economy, the concept of the whole society, etc., the result of the efforts is quite limited. Therefore, the life of most disabled is still wandering at the quite low level situation. They are usually the poorest citizens in the city and have much less support than they should. They are in desperate need of both practical help and spiritual support.

 
 
 
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