• Chris McMillan

Changing attitudes toward disability, one vlog at a time

Shine

Changing attitudes toward disability, one vlog at a time

By Lin Lixin

At the end of 2021, two videos evaluating the worst and best experiences of barrier-free facilities in Shanghai received a lot of attention on the video-sharing platform Bilibili.


The uploader, Zhao Hongcheng, 31, is a wheelchair-user woman who was born in Shaoyang City in central China's Hunan Province. She was diagnosed with poliomyelitis at the age of 1. She currently lives in Shanghai.


Zhao became a vlogger in early 2019 with the username "Dachengzi Haomeimei" and found fame after uploading a video of a trip to Guangzhou. In two days, the video had been viewed more than 2,000 times.


As a full-time blogger now, she has released 65 videos and shares her daily life with her nearly 76,000 followers. More importantly, she tries to assist persons with disabilities and help them better integrate into society.


In one of her posts, she narrated her experience at Tsutaya Books in Shanghai. The bookstore would not allow strollers and wheelchairs inside and demanded that they should be stored "at the front desk."

After waiting outside the store for over ten minutes in the hope that someone from the store would help them out, Zhao's boyfriend Xie Lipeng went inside to negotiate with the manager.


Eventually, they were allowed in but it left a sour taste with Zhao.


"Do you think everyone sitting in a wheelchair can stand up after entering the store? Each one of us wants to play and have fun. So why is it a mistake on my part?" she commented.


She narrated another incident, this time at the prestigious Bund One Art Museum. Zhao and Xie were told that because it was crowded on weekends, they would not be allowed in. This was despite the fact they were selling concession tickets for people with disabilities.


Again, they managed to get in but felt like "outsiders."


On December 6, Zhao received a message on her Weibo account stating that Tsutaya Books had improved facilities for wheelchair users.


https://www.shine.cn/news/in-focus/2201090572/

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