Sep 09, 2011 10:41 AM

Denied Access to China's Disability Fund

Three months after graduating from the nation's top special education institution, a young hearing-impaired man surnamed Zheng is still unable to find work in his field of graphic design. In several of his job interviews, employers openly told him that he did not have adequate communication skills. He turned to Beijing's China Disabled Persons Federation (CDPF) for more training but was rejected for not having a Beijing residency permit.

Companies are required to fill 1.5 to 2 percent of all jobs in a company with disabled people. In exchange for maintaining the quota, companies receive subsidies and tax breaks. However, companies can opt out of the quota by paying into an employment guarantee fund for the disabled.

Yet as the fund continues to grow, it has remained difficult for people with disabilities to find employment.

disability fund
disability fund

Government subsidies and support in the form of a quota system have yet to reduce employment barriers for the disabled. According to the CDPF, China has some 32 million people of working age with disabilities, accounting for 38 percent of the disabled population. Those partially able to work account for 43 percent.

Plenty of Finances, Unclear Agenda

Before the 1990s, China mainly dealt with the employment of people with disabilities by setting up government welfare companies which depended on the government's allocation of funds. In 2008, the newly-revised Law on the Protection of People with Disabilities stipulated that companies were required to arrange a certain percentage of positions for people with disabilities or pay into the employment guarantee fund.

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