A Traveler With Disabilities Takes on China

Washington Post Travel July 25 2013 By Carole Zoom CarolZoom-in-China.jpg"...I’d been to China once before, in 1988, as part of a Mobility International USA delegation to meet with leaders in the growing disability rights movement. Twenty-five years later, I would discover that although China has undergone enormous changes in accessibility, it still has a long way to go to be truly accessible to everyone. But it’s still more than worth the hassle."

The Great Wall

The day was cold and rainy and, as it turned out, a Chinese national holiday. Which explained why the Great Wall was mobbed with Chinese tourists dressed great-wall-jelly-beans.jpgin pastel-colored plastic raincoats and toting jewel-toned umbrellas. From a distance, I thought, the Wall looked as if it was crawling with jelly beans.
It was quite a sight. But not, it turned out, one that could challenge the sight of me in Chinese eyes. As they pushed past me and my entourage — one friend carrying an umbrella over me, my electric scooter and my ventilator, and the other documenting every move with his camera — the tourists stopped to stare at me and my paraphernalia.
I felt as if I’d become the eighth wonder of the world as they ogled and pointed, and I told myself that it was my ravishing beauty that enthralled them. But of course I knew it wasn’t that.

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