WASHINGTON – Millions of Chinese students with disabilities are being deprived of education due to pervasive barriers and a failure to devote resources, Human Rights Watch said Monday.
In a study based on 62 interviews conducted around China, the New York-based advocacy group said few children with disabilities are able to pursue school into their teenage years.
The report credited China with some progress, including making commitments when it ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008, but it said more needs to be done.
Sophie Richardson, the group’s China director, acknowledged that people with disabilities face obstacles throughout the world but said China has several unique barriers. China requires physical examinations for university admittance, which force applicants to declare any disabilities, she said. China also makes little effort to accommodate students with visual or hearing impairments when they take the all-important national exam known as the “gaokao,” she said.