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Let the disabled step into the Internet era

Source: CDPF Updated: 2016-03-04
A speech by Zhang Haidi, chairperson of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, at the “Use the Internet to serve disabled persons and co-create future good lives” workshop.

Welcome to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation!

All of us, including Internet entrepreneurs and journalists, and especially those with disabilities who have start-ups, are together here today to discuss the relationship between the Internet and service to disabled persons. It is timely and necessary to ensure that disabled people appreciate the comprehensiveness of the Internet.

Nowadays, in the Internet era, information and network technology has permeated all aspects of society’s economic and social development, greatly changing people’s lives. Many Internet enterprises with social responsibilities have taken action to let disabled people share the convenience and opportunities brought by the Internet. For instance, the Alibaba Group funded 100,000 disabled persons for online training, providing them with opportunities to start up a business.

What does the Internet mean for disabled people, and how can we help them approach it? The Internet has brought the disabled more and more chances to participate in social activities. In recent years, owing to audio materials available online, visually impaired people can “read” more books, even on their cell phones. People with physical disabilities can live barrier-free lives on the Internet by, for example, going to net schools and shopping online.

Thanks to the Internet, barriers disabled people face in their lives have been greatly removed, along with the prejudice and discrimination. They dream dreams that were impossible for them before. This, in my opinion, is the miracle of the Internet.
The Internet helps many disabled persons, and also inspires their creativity. Some villagers with severe disabilities have opened online shops to sell vegetables, fruit and livestock, not only improving their own life quality, but also motivating others to join them in achieving prosperity.

However, disabled persons able to use the Internet are a small proportion of the 8,000 disabled in China. Research on big data construction for the disabled is expanding so that more can enjoy the benefits of the Internet. Disabled people need more barrier-free IT products and related software to provide them with more ways to be integrated into society.

The China Disabled Persons’ Federation has promoted two online services, which are the beginning of the organization’s achievements in Internet service.
I firmly hope all of society will warmly encourage disabled persons to step into the Internet era to enjoy the happiness the Internet brings to them. 
Thanks!
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