Living standards of the disabled in China improved

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Living standards of disabled people in China have improved over the past year, according to a report released Wednesday by the China Disabled Persons' Federation .

The report is based on a survey conducted from April 1, 2009 to April 1, 2010 about 32,645 disabled persons in 1,467 sample communities.

Annual disposable income per capita of disabled persons' families in cities and townships has increased by 9.2 percent from the previous year, reaching 9,365 yuan (1,405 U.S. dollars), the report said.

Also, disposable income per capita of disabled persons' families in rural areas has increased to 4,739 yuan, up by 16.6 percent.

The report said over 80 percent of disabled person's families have computers with Internet access. However, only 22.5 percent of the disabled persons in urban areas and 18 percent of those in rural areas actually use the computers themselves.

The average housing area for a disabled person in urban area over the past year has reached 17.7 square meter, 0.3 square meter more than the number in the previous year. The average housing area for disable persons in rural areas is 21.6 square meter, an increase of 0.5 square meters, the report said.

Additionally, working age employment rates of disabled people with self-care abilities in urban and rural areas were 34 percent and 49.2 percent in 2010, the report said.

Further, registered unemployment rates of disabled people in urban areas has dropped from 13.6 percent in the previous year, to 8.6 percent this year.

In addition to the country's employment promoting policies, the report also admitted that part of the reason for the drop might be that some who are unemployed did not register their situation.

Moreover, the report said more than half of the disabled persons try to find jobs through personal relationships, which is an indication that job services for disabled people should be further improved.

According to the report, the program for "new rural cooperative medical insurance" has covered 96 percent of the disabled people in the countryside, compared with the rate of 84.4 percent in 2007.

Also, the coverage rates of medical insurance and pension programs for disabled people in urban areas has increased by 12.3 percent and 5.3 percent respectively from the previous year, the report said.

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