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  • Chris McMillan

Helping marginalized people get justice

China Daily

8th February 2022

Helping marginalized people get justice

By Wang Ru

Lawyer Tang Shuai and his specialist team of legal eagles use various forms of sign language to advocate on behalf of deaf and mute clients, Wang Ru reports.

Recalling the starting point of his career, Tang Shuai, 38, a lawyer based in Southwest China's Chongqing, renowned for dealing with cases related to deaf and mute clients, notes that he was only 4 years old.

His father had suddenly fallen ill and was sent to a hospital. Although he had a severe stomachache, he couldn't describe his ailment to the doctor because he is both deaf and mute. As such, the doctor wasn't able to make an accurate diagnosis.

Seeing his father curl up on the sickbed in pain, with sweat soaking through his shirt and into the sheet, Tang was anxious, and made up his mind there and then to learn sign language so that, in future, he would be able to help his parents communicate.

Tang was born in Chongqing in 1985, and both of his parents are deaf and mute. Through a sense of self-loathing because of their condition, they sent Tang to live with his grandparents, and forbade him from learning sign language.

"They believed that people with such conditions live with very low social status. When I was labeled as an 'ordinary' person in their minds, they tried to push me away from that world," says Tang.

But, against their wishes, after witnessing his father's difficulty at the hospital, he began to learn sign language from his grandmother and his parents' colleagues at a local factory, and gradually became proficient.


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