Making the Forbidden City of Beijing accessible

A group of Young Voices campaigners in China have made history by using social media to make parts of the ancient Forbidden City of Beijing accessible to people with disabilities for the first time.

the entrance to the forbidden city in beijingThe Forbidden City is made up of a series of interconnected rooms, many with high thresholds which make wheelchair access impossible. The whole infrastructure is old and uneven, making movement around the city difficult.

The Young Voices used social media sites such as QQ to highlight the accessibility issues to the site. As a result, over 50 people with disabilities went on a group sightseeing trip to the Forbidden City. As they struggled to help the wheelchair users and people with sensory difficulties, the staff working at the site were faced with the reality of how many barriers there were. The staff passed on that message to the senior management who agreed to reinstall and develop the accessibility including ramps and lifts.

Not satisfied with conquering the Forbidden City, the Young Voices are also working with the China Disabled Person Federation to tackle accessibility issues at the Great Wall of China, one step at a time.

Congcong, one of the campaigners says: “Sites like the Forbidden City are of great national and international importance. Everyone has the right to enjoy such beauty. The City is a historic building but now it is also a building of the future.”

‘Leaders of today’ confirm their campaigning spirit in China

Young Voices members from China, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Thailand shared their campaign successes and difficulties at the East Asia and Pacific Regional Young Voices conference in Manila from 4 to 7 December. Taking the theme ‘Building A Better World for All: Leaders of Today’, the conference participants analysed their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges as young leaders of the disability rights movement in their countries. Several eminent speakers also addressed the young people including Mr Trevor Lewis, Deputy Head of Mission of the British Embassy in the Philippines, who discussed the life of Captain Leonard Cheshire. As one of England’s greatest war heroes, he dedicated the rest of his life not to war, but to helping those in need, including people with disabilities. In this spirit, the conference ended with the confirmation that members would work toward an ‘inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based society for all’.

Posted in China, Young Voices News and tagged

‘Leaders of today’ confirm their campaigning spirit in China

Young Voices campaigners from China, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Thailand shared their campaign successes and difficulties at the East Asia and Pacific Regional Young Voices conference in Manila from 4 to 7 December. Taking the theme ‘Building A Better World for All: Leaders of Today’, the conference participants analysed their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges as young leaders of the disability rights movement in their countries. Several eminent speakers also addressed the young people including Mr Trevor Lewis, Deputy Head of Mission of the British Embassy in the Philippines, who discussed the life of Captain Leonard Cheshire. As one of England’s greatest war heroes, he dedicated the rest of his life not to war, but to helping those in need, including people with disabilities. In this spirit, the conference ended with the confirmation that members would work toward an ‘inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based society for all’.

Posted in China, Global and tagged

UNCRPD versus Me

This is the theme of the new Young Voices China writing competition organised with the support of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation. Through it young people with disabilities explored their personal experiences and voiced their understanding of the UNCRPD. The project also held seminars and worked out the next campaign plan.