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Rules to Benefit Disabled Students
With registration for this year's college entrance examinations looming, physically disabled students are breathing a sigh of relief due to a new governmental policy, which will relax limits on physical exams for newly recruited college students.

"Now I can just go ahead and do my best on the exams. I don't have to worry that my healthier classmates will have the upper hand at the recruitment because of my disability," said Zhang Yan.

The 18-year-old boy, who will be graduating this year from a high school in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, lost an eye due to a wrong diagnosis as a child.

Zhang's mother called Peking University to ask if her son's eye problem would make it difficult for him to gain acceptance to the university's esteemed bio-chemistry department, and was relieved to find out that admittance would be based "fairly" on academic scores.

"The university official answering the phone quoted the new policy and said my son was at the same level of other students," the mother said.

The new guideline, jointly published on Tuesday by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and the China Disabled Persons' Federation, clearly stipulates that no student may be rejected by a school merely on the basis of having a physical disability.

Schools may advise disabled students on choice of major if their decision will affect future employment opportunities, however the final decision is still up to the student, according to the guidelines.

Sources with the China Disabled Persons' Federation called the new guidelines a step forward, saying the measures will help level the playing field between disabled students and their healthy counterparts in the college entrance examinations, as there have been cases in the past where schools accepted healthy students with lower scores over disabled students.

(China Daily March 13, 2003)

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