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Paralympic Games Makes Beijing More Accessible

The Paralympic Games has accelerated the construction of disabled-access facilities in Beijing, an official said in Beijing on Thursday.

"Beijing has done a lot of breakthrough work in the build-up to the Paralympic Games. Those work enables the disabled persons from home and abroad to learn more about the social progress of Beijing," said Tang Xiaoquan, executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG).

"The Paralympic Games is transforming Beijing into a more harmonious and accessible metropolis," she added.

Tang, who is also a senior official of the China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF), said that the Chinese government has always highlighted the work to help the handicapped people and the Paralympics bring opportunities as subways, airports and railway stations are all equipped with facilities for the disabled.

But Tang noted that things are far from perfection and Beijing needs to do more work after the Paralympics.

"In order to allow the handicapped to lead a normal life and enjoy the fruits of social development as the able bodied persons, we need to continue the construction of disabled-access facilities," she said.

The Chinese capital has almost 1 million handicapped people, or 6.49 percent of the population.

About 4,000 disabled athletes from around the world will compete in the September 6-17 Games.

(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2008)

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