Stop discrimination of those with disabilities

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By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-28 07:53

JIN DING/CHINA DAILY

Last week, a policewoman in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province, posed as a visually impaired person and tried to board a bus assisted by a guide dog. However, the bus driver would not let her in and some passengers even abused her.

In 2018, a video showing a visually impaired person accompanied by a guide dog being turned away from the subway went viral, arousing anger on social networking sites and prompting legislators to amend the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons that October, which allowed the visually impaired to visit public places and use public facilities with guide dogs so long as they followed the guidelines there.

But less than two years later another guide dog has been turned away. In a video gone viral the driver is seen telling the policewoman that her dog was a "pet" and the latter insisting it was trained to guide her.

Two measures are needed to tackle this. First, the law should be enforced. A visually impaired person facing discrimination has the right to call up the police seeking help and the latter must help.

Second, public service organizations, such as bus and subway companies, government agencies, and commercial complexes must teach their staff to be courteous with those with disabilities and protect their legitimate rights.

Maybe the bus driver meant no harm and thought he was protecting the law, but then his understanding of the law is outdated.

Particularly disappointing is the behavior of a passenger seen asking the policewoman to get off the bus, saying she was troubling everyone. Maybe, nobody ever told the passenger that people with disabilities are equal members of society and his behavior was nothing less than downright rude. It is also time to include respect for life in primary education so that people with disabilities do not suffer such humiliating behavior in the future.

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