China's Shandong to build barrier-free environment in public places
China has over 17 million blind and visually-impaired people. Most are restricted to home due to the inconvenience of going out. [Photo/VCG]
JINAN - East China's Shandong province is looking to create easy environment for the disabled, elderly and mobility impaired in public places, local authorities said.
The provincial government has put forward construction methods that will take effect on May 1, requiring all roads, public and residential buildings, public transport services and dwelling districts to meet construction standards of barrier-free facilities.
Obstacle-free facilities should be designed, constructed, accepted and put into use simultaneously with the principal parts of construction projects. Newly-built accessibility facilities are supposed to connect with existing ones in surrounding areas.
Priorities will be given to the renovation and development of barrier-free facilities in public service institutions (charity houses, rehabilitation centers etc.), public places (schools, kindergartens, hospitals, libraries, museums etc.), public transport services, as well as public utilities and commercial areas.
Major roads, squares, parks and scenic areas will also be barrier-free, so will all local governments at or above the county level.
China has worked out a guideline on improving transportation services for the elderly and the disabled and plans to establish a service system for barrier-free transport by 2020.
According to the guideline, post offices should make sure that any mails for the elderly and the disabled are delivered to their specific addresses, while new buses in cities with more than 5 million citizens should have low floors.