May 15th marks China’s 26th National Day for Helping People with Disabilities (全国助残日)*. The country’s disabled people are currently around 85 million in number. Two days before the occasion, the China Philanthropy Research Institute (BNU) released the Progress Index Report of Policy on Persons with Disabilities in China (中国残疾人政策进步指数报告). The report covers 31 provinces nationwide and presents data from 2012 to 2014.
According to the report, China has a good track record on the advancement of policies for assisting people with disabilities. In particular, the use of creative policy approaches at the regional level has reached a crescendo. This facilitates the overall policy improvement in China. The report uses eight first-order indexes including policy environment, educational development and employment support, and 26 second-order indexes. The top five provinces are found to be Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu, and Shandong. Among the top ten provinces, seven are in eastern China. Nevertheless, policy progress does not necessarily reflect economic growth. In the last few years, Gansu, Yunnan and Qinghai provinces have ranked significantly higher in this field than they have for GDP per capita.