Visitors want wheelchair posers' game tripped up

09:00, May 28, 2010      

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A boy in a wheelchair exits the Saudi Arabia Pavilion last week. Visitors without a disability this week are spending hours in line waiting to get into the popular structure. Photo: Wu Gang

Visitors want organizers to get tough on individuals posing as people with a disability as concerns about visitors faking confinement to a wheelchair surface at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

The request comes after Liu Chenzi, a music student who visited the Expo Park, wrote the government to ask them to look into the matter after spotting people pretending to be handicapped to get priority access.

"I saw visitors standing up and walking around right after getting into the pavilions," Liu was quoted Wednesday in the Jie-fang Daily.

With visitors getting cranky queuing for hours at popular pavilions as the number of daily visitors surpassed 300,000 this week, one visitor in her seventies, sitting in a wheelchair, said that she is disgusted that people would go so low as to fake the need for a wheelchair to jump lines.

"It is just wrong and completely unfair to people like us," the woman surnamed Jiang Wednesday told the Global Times.

According to park staff, wheelchair rentals are given to visitors who show valid documentation proving they have a disability, or to those who are above the age of 70. Visitors are also allowed to bring their own wheelchairs as the park has a limited supply.

Pavilions, on the other hand, have their own policies.

At the Saudi Arabia Pavilion, one of the most popular structures in the park, upon showing identification, people in wheel-chairs and pregnant women are permitted priority entrance with one other person.

"Sometimes these people try and squeeze two people in with them, and in some of these cases the guards have come and asked them to leave," Zhang Liancheng, who works the doors at the Saudi Arabia Pavilion, told the Global Times Wednesday.

For other widely visited pavilions including the France, UK and Italy structures, visitors in a wheelchair are also required to show proper iden-tification before being able to join the priority lineup with one other person.

But the case is different at the Japan Pavilion, where people in a wheelchair are allowed to bring as many people as they want to the priority line without showing identification - in turn disadvantaging this group.

"It usually takes people in the normal line about three hours to get while people in the priority lineup have waited for up to four hours since so many people with a disability and their friends are visiting our pavilion," a staffer at the Japan Pavilion told the Global Times Wednesday.

Source: Global Times


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