Facilities and Associations for People with Disabilities in Beijing
A guide to the transportation options and associations available to support people with disabilities in Beijing...
Beijing was the host of the 2008 Paralympic Games. In preparation for the Games the city made improvements to disabled access across the city, although accessibility is not widespread. Wheelchair users will find that the many cobbled streets, kerbs and inaccessible pavements can make movement difficult throughout the city.
Wheelchair users who plan to visit Beijing are advised to book required taxis in advance. Many attractions are wheelchair accessible, but most are not entirely accessible.
All stations within the Beijing Subway system claim to have facilities for passengers with reduced mobility (ramps and lifts); however, the practical availability of these varies from station to station.
Public bus access can be unreliable for those with reduced mobility as gaps between the bus and pavement can make it impossible to board the bus.
A very small number of taxis in Beijing are equipped to transport passengers who are in a wheelchair. The Shou Qi Group taxi company operates some of these designated cabs, many of which resemble London taxis, though dispatchers and drivers will probably not speak English.
- Shou Qi Group
Tel: 800 610 5678
Website (in Chinese)
The largest taxi company in the city, Beijing Yinjian Taxi Company, also has a small number of wheelchair accessible taxis which can be booked by telephone. English-speaking dispatchers are available.
- Beijing Yinjian Taxi Company
Many pavements in Beijing are equipped with special ridged surfaces to assist the visually impaired with navigating. Unfortunately, these pathways are often blocked by obstacles such as fire hydrants and poles, as well as by street vendors, creating a dangerous environment. Guide dogs are not widely welcomed in Beijing.
The Badaling section of the Great Wall, approximately 90 Km northwest of Beijing in Juyongguang, is the most visited section of the popular tourist attraction. It is the only section with access for visitors in wheelchairs. A ramp is available, and two lifts are available if reserved in advance.
Beijing Stars and Rain is a non-governmental educational organisation serving children with autism and their parents. Through a residential training programme, the association provides training for parents so they can teach their own children.
- Stars and Rain Education Institute for Autism
At: Dongxu Xincun 4Qu No. 57, Chaoyang District, 10024 Beijing
Tel: 010 8537 3236
The Bethel Foundation provides education, care and life skills to visually impaired orphans in China through fostering, with the goal of independent living. The foundation also trains other orphanages to provide the same care and services in China and in other countries. A programme for children with multiple disabilities is also available.
- Bethel Foundation
At: 1 Hu Guang Zhong jie, Loftel Building 605, Chaoyang, Beijing
The China Disabled Persons’ Foundation is an organisation of disabled people in China that protects the interests and rights of people with disabilities in the country and tries to promote their integration. The CDPF also provides services and supervises governmental affairs with people with disabilities. The organisation has a website with English-language information on issues and news relating to people with disabilities.
- For information about visiting the Great Wall: Click here
- For tips for disabled travellers: Click here