by Joy Chia
Open Society Foundations, April 28, 2017
Last year, parents at a Beijing elementary school demanded that one of the students, an eight-year-old girl with autism, be transferred. But because the rules at the time held that students must go to the school closest to their home, and because the girl’s local school said it could not meet her needs, the child – like so many children with disabilities in China – was effectively forced to go without an education. Thanks in part to the dogged work of multiple advocacy groups supported by Open Society Foundations, however, China now has new regulations, ones which represent a dramatic step toward inclusive education. To be sure, education in China is far from inclusive; but for the first time in generations, China’s government is recognizing the rights of children with disabilities.