The Beijing 2022 organizing committee released guidelines for better barrier-free access on Friday, as Beijing and co-host Zhangjiakou, in Hebei province, gear up for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
The Guide to Barrier-free Services for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympics Games lays out requirements for barrier-free facilities and services in a wide range of places, including stadiums, hotels, and transport terminals.
"The release of the guide is not only meant to ensure a successful Olympic Games, but also set higher standards for a barrier-free environment across China and boost development of barrier-free accessibility and public services in general," said Zhou Jian, deputy director of the rights department at the China Disabled Persons’ Federation.
The Code for Accessibility Design, in effect across China since 2012, mainly deals with infrastructure, while the new guide also features barrier-free access to information and services, such as easy access to sports schedules for the blind and convenient wheelchair rentals.
It also covers the training and management of those offering services, and the maintenance of facilities.
Beijing will begin an investigation of barrier-free access in the city and devise an action plan and a supervision system in accordance with the guide, said Tao Zhihong, an official from the capital’s planning authority.
Zhangjiakou has fewer disability-friendly facilities, especially in suburban areas. The city launched a plan early this year to upgrade accessibility within three years.
"I think challenges ahead include ensuring effective implementation across all stages, from planning to completion, and improving awareness of the guide among those involved in offering such services," said Zhang Lijun, an official from the city’s housing and urban-rural development bureau.