Beijing 2022 are vowing to use the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to bring about a nationwide improvement of facilities to help people with disabilities.
It was announced at a working conference of the Winter Games that they will particularly prioritize disability access in all venues across the two sites of Beijing and Zhangjiakou.
However, they will also seek to provide more general help elsewhere in the host cities, as well as in other parts of China.
Ensuring an accessible environment for the Games is a part of the Host City Contract signed by Beijing when they were awarded the events, after defeating Kazakhstan rival Almaty in 2015.
Organizers have already asked research and development institutions to compile “barrier-free guidelines for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics”.
This will contain “specific requirements, illustrations and parameters” to help achieve good accessibility across areas spanning accommodation, information, training, transport and social services.
Organizers have also vowed to make sure that there will be wheelchair access in all venues.
Specific work there will begin next year and be completed in 2019.
Organizers for the next edition of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have apologized this week and vowed to revise a “badly worded” section of their volunteers handbook which outlined recommended ways to treat disabled people attending the Games in a patronizing manner.
Beijing’s hosting of the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2008 was credited as a vehicle to help drive forward disability standards across China.
By Nick Butler
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.