Zhang calls for community inclusion for persons with disabilities

Zhang Haidi, president of Rehabilitation International (RI) and chairperson of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF), attends a forum of the Community Inclusion Session of the 2nd Global Disability Summit on Feb. 17 and delivers a keynote speech via video link. [cdpf.org.cn]

Zhang Haidi, president of Rehabilitation International (RI) and chairperson of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF), attended a forum of the Community Inclusion Session of the 2nd Global Disability Summit on Feb. 17 and delivered a keynote speech via video link.

Zhang pointed out that “community inclusion” is of far-reaching significance to the disability-inclusive development and is crucial to the implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the realization of “leaving no one behind.”

She said that community service agencies for persons with disabilities had been established in many urban and rural areas in China. Persons with severe disabilities are well taken care of and more of them can be given rehabilitation training, so that they are able to take care of themselves and find jobs.

She noted that China has applied big data technology to disability service provision and enhanced their community inclusion. It is often seen that disability service facilities adopt digital management in providing rehabilitation guidance and daily care so as to help them have a more convenient life.

She added that China is building a high-level and international-standard rehabilitation university, which aims to train high-level rehabilitation professionals and provide better rehabilitation services for the people with disabilities.

According to Zhang, RI founded the Global Disability Development Fund and the Africa Fund, which sponsored community rehabilitation and inclusion projects in five African countries such as Uganda. In 2019, RI set up and conferred for the first time the RI Award for Outstanding Achievements, to recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the disability work.

Zhang called on the international community to continue to pay attention to and promote equality, sharing, integration, and development of persons with disabilities.

The 2nd Global Disability Summit, co-hosted by the governments of Norway and Ghana, took place online on Feb. 16-17, with the aim of bringing about real change in disability rights protections. The prime minister of Norway and the president of Ghana also attended and addressed the summit.