Access and wheelchairs in Beijing

Wow, this sort of article is exactly what I was looking for! And here it is! A personal story of what it is like to be a traveller using a wheelchair in Beijing. As long as I have a reasonably accessible hotel, I’ll be fine. And, if I go into it with out a big agenda of seeing-many-tourist-things, that will also make it way more fun. I would probably try to go to the Summer Palace, but aside from that, will just go to the conference, and write, and talk with people, and I’m sure it will be fantastic. Thanks for the writeup, Rosemary!

Now, to write to everyone I know who might know interesting Chinese bloggers, or poetry translators, or science fiction writers… I met some really nice guys at the last translation conference. Ideally, I would find some poets and bloggers and translators! It’s short notice, but through ALTA I am sure I can get some introductions… The other thing that occurs to me is that there are likely to be plenty of south american music industry people at this conference and it might be interesting to talk with them and to get their info since I could blog about their artists if they have an interesting online presence.

The advice about what kind of taxis have room for a folding wheelchair is perfect. This is far too pessimistic… I can handle uneven sidewalks, and just take taxis instead of trains, or mostly plan to not go a lot of places that need taxis. But, I am also pretty sure that this is too optimistic and that I will encounter the same sorts of things I normally do here, and that Rosemary mentions, i.e. buildings that are, in theory, accessible, but that in practice, have a lot of barriers like locked wheelchair lifts and no one who knows where they keep the key! So, I have low expectations, and anything that works out will be a bonus.

I see that Beijing is hosting the Paralympics, so, it occurs to me that I could get some sort of quick consultant work doing a report on accessibility for particular areas or destinations. Or I might pitch an article to disability sites or magazines on the experience, since there will be a lot of travellers with disabilities going to Beijing for the Paralympics.

Likely the flight will semi-destroy me, but my plan is to take a ton of muscle relaxants for it and sleep as much as I can manage. And to plan for a day afterwards to just lie around on painkillers in the hotel, if I need to. I would like to *not* come back with my leg and back worse off than before, but even if I do, I’m sure it will be okay and I will arrange it so that my being more crippled will not all fall on Rook…

Okay, I’m off to do more homework on this!

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One Response to “Access and wheelchairs in Beijing”

  1. vito excalibur

    Holy crap, you’re going to Beijing? That’s so cool!

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