CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Cui
October 15th is the International White Cane Safety Day. It is a day dedicated to blind people and to promoting a better understanding of blindness and visual disabilities.
To mark this occasion, Beijing's Fragrant Hills Park, located in the city's northwestern suburbs, is inviting some 100 visually-impaired visitors to join its annual red leaf festival.
Our reporter XX has more:
100 blind people and 100 volunteers are walking arm in arm along the winding barrier-free path at Fragrant Hills. Although they can't see through their own eyes the golden autumn scene, they can feel with their heart, with every touch of the trees, with the fragrance of the fresh air, and with the whistle of the breeze through the autumn leaves.
"It's my first time here, I'm exited, and feel as good as the weather."
"I'm happy to be here, it's really good to have the chance to go for a walk like this in the beautiful weather. Thanks for the help of the warm volunteers."
The volunteers are from the Beijing Landscape Architecture School and service stations of communities in Xicheng and Dongcheng Districts in Beijing. They have received training before the event to offer one-on-one assistance for the blind people. For them, the event is both educational and meaningful to better appreciate and cherish life.
"I studied to be a tour guide, so I know the culture and history of the Fragrant Hills. The activities are meaningful to me."
The event was co-organized by China Association of the Blind and Fragrant Hills Park. Li Zhijun, Deputy Chairman of China Disabled People's Federation, spoke of the significance of such activities.
"Blind people love to go out. Many people also enjoy accompanying these people and lending a hand. This interaction will help form a good atmosphere for the blind people to share the cultural fruit of the society."
More and more people are becoming aware of the needs and interests of blind people. There are facilities built in homes, communities and public to cater to their needs, and even a digital library for them to "read" books.
"There are sidewalks designed for blind people, less stairs, and elevators for wheel chairs at almost every subway station. Disabled people's homes are also equipped with convenient facilities."
The Chinese government has submitted its first enforcement report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in September, which marked another significant step toward building a harmonious society.
The report notes that people with disabilities in China have widely participated in community activities and enjoy equal access to education.
The "Life and Sunshine" pavilion at the Shanghai Expo is also the best demonstration of the importance attached to the dignity and values of this particular group.
With the increased awareness from the general public, people with disabilities are increasing their potential and embracing the beauty of life.