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  • Chris McMillan

Visually impaired broadcaster encourages others to ‘become precedents’

Global Times

24th June 2023

Visually impaired broadcaster encourages others to ‘become precedents’

Recently, a short video of a graduation speech delivered by a visually impaired postgraduate student during the Communication University of China (CUC) graduation ceremony in Beijing, has moved many Chinese netizens.

In the video posted by the CUC on its WeChat page on June 28, Dong Lina, a postgraduate student from the Broadcasting and Anchoring School at the CUC, was accompanied by Liao Xiangzhong, Chairman of the University Council, who guided her onto the podium before giving her speech.

To her surprise, before her speech, graduation attendees gave Dong a standing ovation, in recognition of her efforts she has made throughout her tenure as a master's student at the university, as a visually impaired person who never allowed a seemingly cruel hand dealt to her by fate dictate her destiny.

"Isn't precedent meant to be created?" This is the mantra by which the 39-year-old has always lived by.

Born in 1984 to a farming family on the outskirts of Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, Dong was diagnosed with congenital amblyopia and went completely blind at the age of 10.

At the beginning, she bemoaned the unfairness of fate, but under the encouragement of teachers and books she has read over the years, she never gave up on learning.

Dong used to be a blind massage therapist at a massage parlor in Dalian. Unwilling to be a massage therapist for the rest of her life, she taught herself English after work and tried to amass a wealth of knowledge from topic of interest to her. In 2016, Dong learned through the Internet that an institution in Beijing was offering a broadcasting course for visually impaired students. After getting in contact with the institute, then 22-year-old Dong bought a train ticket to Beijing, a move which marked the start of a new life.

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