In China, Humanity & Inclusion continues to run programs under the operating name "Handicap International."
Handicap International works with the Chinese government and civil society partners to provide direct support to the most vulnerable groups in the poorest areas of the country and lobby for more policies targeting those areas. The organization’s projects aim to develop more inclusive development policies and foster greater access for people with disabilities to both the education system and jobs market. Handicap International also runs several rehabilitation programs to aid victims of natural disasters, which are common in parts of the county. Handicap International employs seven national staff and two expatriates in China.
Handicap International has been working in China since 2000, following natural disasters in Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, and Heilongjiang provinces. A majority of the 85 million persons with disabilities in China live in poverty and only one third of those needing rehabilitation services have access to care. According to the latest national disability survey conducted in 2006, the mean annual income of people with disabilities in China is more than 50% below the national average.
Though the country has modernized, its rapid development has been accompanied by the emergence of new disparities. One of the most worrying consequences is the growing inequality between China's poor western and interior regions and the rich provinces to the east and south. People with disabilities in these regions are particularly vulnerable.
Furthermore, China is prone to major natural disasters and its provinces are frequently affected by earthquakes and widespread flooding.
Handicap International empowers all individuals and their family members towards full participation of community life. A comprehensive strategy on mental health has been adopted by local authorities to support the participation and social inclusion of people with disabilities. Handicap International is partnering with Civil Society Organizations so that policy is developed and implemented.
To improve the social situation of people with disabilities, Handicap International facilitates inclusion projects in Sichuan, Guangxi, and Yunnan. These projects address inclusive community development, education, and economics. With the help of local partners, Handicap International creates and facilities self-help groups, vocational training, micro-grant programs, and various income-generating activities specifically for individuals with disabilities. Handicap International also runs several programs to specifically bolster the inclusion of persons with mental disabilities in all aspects of community life.
Handicap International supports efforts to create more inclusive education for children with intellectual disabilities and autism by providing necessary equipment and financial support to educational facilities. Capacity building and information on specific educational needs is provided for parents to influence and improve education quality. Handicap International also supports the establishment of a national level dialogue to mobilize education service providers and users to support the implementation of inclusive education policies.