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China Focus: First national regulation born to help disabled exam takers

BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- China has issued a national regulation on facilitating the disabled to sit the college entrance exam, the country's most important, for the first time, according to an official statement on Friday.

The provisional regulation on assisting the disabled in college entrance exams has been jointly publicized by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the China Disabled Persons' Federation, marking the first national-level arrangement in this area.

According to the regulation, education authorities at all levels should provide conveniences to disabled exam takers, including exam papers in Braille, or in big characters, longer time allowances, and offering assistance in exam venues, such as sign language translators.

Specifically, the visually impaired will be allowed to take exams with Braille pens and writing boards, Braille typewriters, magnifying glasses, among other tools.

Those with hearing disabilities will be allowed to take exams with hearing aids and cochlear implants. People with limb disabilities can sit the exam with wheelchairs, crutches, and even tailor-made desks.

Longer exam times will be allowed for those with difficulties in writing caused by upper limb disabilities, and those with hearing disabilities can be exempted from hearing tests in foreign language subjects, according to the regulation.

The regulation asked local education authorities to make their own plans and train exam supervisors. Disabled exam takers can file written applications for facilitation before the exam.

According to a statement made by the MOE, the existing facilitation for disabled exam takers still fall short of meeting all their needs, due to lack of policies, technical supports, and social and economic development levels. This needs to be improved in the future.

In China, college entrance exam results are the major assessment standard for college enrollment of students, and millions of students take the exam each year. The exam can be also regarded as an important social event.

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