Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)


College of Arts and Sciences


Asia Pacific Studies

First Advisor

Brian Komei Dempster

Second Advisor

Matthew Berry



This paper explores the state and perception of wheelchair users in China. My research outlines various disability models by which we can measure China’s level of effectiveness at providing access and services for its disabled population. In my analysis, I largely draw the conclusion that China is evolving out of a Charity state model into one which supports the rights of Chinese citizenry. There are many good laws in place in China, but they are not being enforced effectively at this point in time. There also seems to be a class division involved in the acceptance of educated disabled over un-educated disabled persons. Finally, different types of wheelchair users are defined and solutions for China are discussed.Using secondary sources along with videos and interviews, my research uses a mixed-methods approach that both offers a sound scholarly basis for my claims and compelling personal anecdotes and pathos. The findings in this essay are important as they relate to the lives of approximately 80 million Chinese citizens and their potential futures as well as the thousands of dollars of capital that can be generated by China’s encouragement of disabled travelers to visit their country.

Keywords: access, disability, China laws and policy, wheelchair users