Beijing - Post Report Question and Answers

Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes, sidewalks are often uneven and you often have to navigate around construction and bikes parked haphazardly. There are no accommodations for people with visual disabilities either. Modern buildings offer elevators, so that's something. - Nov 2021

No, but if you leave the diplomatic quarter or leave the city it'd get a lot harder. - Nov 2020

Yes. Although most expat-friendly buildings and tourist attractions will have some form of accessible entrance, in general, Beijing is just not there yet. Wheelchair-bound people would have a lot of difficulty getting around town. - Aug 2020

Yes. China is trying, but not there yet. - May 2020

Yes, they will. Very few ramps and elevators, sidewalks are in bad shape. - Nov 2019

Probably dodging all the cars and bicyclists would not be easy but definitely not insurmountable. - Oct 2017

Yes. There is virtually no attention paid to the disabled here. It is well known that standard practice here is for families to hide away those born with physical/mental disabilities, and there's no expectation they will participate in society. I have seen one wheelchair in use on the street here ever. - Dec 2015

Yes. The sidewalks, if they exist, are typically crumbling. There is construction happening everywhere, all of the time, and crossing the streets is dangerous for people with no physical disabilities. I imagine it would be really rough if you couldn't run. - Jul 2014

I've noticed most of the new metro stops have elevators, as do the newer shopping malls. But the older parts of the city are not designed for people with disabilities. - Jun 2013

It would not be "difficult" here; it would be nearly impossible. Disabled access to buildings is almost unheard of and sidewalks are treacherous for everyone. - Aug 2011

Very difficult city to live with a handicap. I had surgery and was on crutches and in a wheel chair for some time and it was impossible to get around. - Apr 2011

Beijing made great strides toward accessibility during the 2008 Olympics, and major tourist sites and transportation hubs in Beijing are accessible. However, some of the infrastructure that was put in for the Olympics hasn't been maintained since they ended, and is no longer working. There's a big difference between being a tourist and living here, though. I don't recommend living in Beijing if you are physically challenged; daily life requires an awful lot of stairs. - Jan 2011

It has improved, but there is a history of hiding disabled people away in China, so I think it would be quite challenging. - Jan 2010

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