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I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Some more on Li Jinsheng (李金生)

So I am now finally talking about the ways that Li Jinsheng (李金生) and his taking the college entrance exams (高考) has been represented in some Chinese media. I'm looking at articles published online in Chinese, on China-based sites, something that I don't think most USA folk look at, and most of my readers are from the USA.
The articles are

  1. 盲人高考河南第一人参加体检 盲人试卷或将亮相 April 23, 2014 article, headline about the first Blind person in Henan (a province) to take the entrance exams.
  2. “河南盲人自考第一人”报名高考遭拒 自言不放弃 December 14, 2013 article, headline about the first Blind person in Henan to take the independent study college entrance exams (Li Jinsheng was that person a while back) planning to take the regular exams. 
  3. 黄诗欣:高考交白卷的权利 June 12, 2014 article, headline is the authors name followed by "the right to turn in a blank test on the college entrance exam" (Li Jinsheng turned in a nearly blank exam after being given a paper version- he'd practiced on and requested electronic versions.)
  4. 46岁李金生:今年全国唯一一名盲人考生 June 11, 2014 article, headline is 46 year old Li Jinsheng: The only blind person in the country to take the college entrance exams this year.
  5. 盲人高考白卷亦是一种公平与进步 June 16, 2014 article, headline is that the blind person's blank test paper is also/still a sort of progress for fairness.
  6. 交白卷无损盲人高考破冰意义 June 9, 2014 article reprinted from the Nanjing Daily. The headline says that turning in a blank test paper does not diminish the "break ice" meaning of a blind man taking the college entrance exams. Break ice here is figurative language for breaking down barriers in general.
  7. 盲人高考交白卷“破冰”还是浪费? June 11, 2014 article, headline asks if the blind person turning in a blank test paper is breaking the ice or wasting resources. The article goes for the ice breaking meaning.
  8. 李金生的高考,不是一个人的战斗 June 9, 2014 article, headline says that Li Jinsheng's participation in the entrance exam isn't just one person's battle. 
  9. 教育部发文部署2014年普通高校招生工作, a ministry of education release from March 28, 2014. I'm really only looking at one paragraph from this release from the 教育部, and it's the second to last one. That's where they changed from their old decision of not letting Blind people take the regular exam to allowing it and stating some available options. 
This is a lot of articles, so this is probably going to be multi-part. Ah well, suc
So, here's the quote from the department of education: 
《通知》指出,要以考生为本,要做好招生服务和宣传工作。教育部要求各级教育行政部门、招生考试机构和高校要加强作风建设和职能转变,着力解决考生和社会关心、反映强烈的突出问题。为考生提供更加专业化的招生政策咨询服务、更加人性化的考试服务,热情关爱弱势群体考生。特别是要积极采取措施,为残疾人平等报名参加考试提供便利。有盲人参加考试时,为盲人考生提供盲文试卷、电子试卷或者由专门的工作人员予以协助。
As for what that means?
We've got what reads to me like fluff about how students and fairness are important, test structure needing to suit students, professionally serving the students who are taking the test, caring for test takers from "vulnerable groups." Then the second half of the second last sentence and the whole last sentence look more like meat, like actual statements. They're talking about "working for disabled people's equal participation in the test" and then the last sentence specifically addresses Blind people. "When Blind people are taking the test, they should be provided with a Braille test, an electronic test, or assistance from a worker." I'm guessing the assistance from a worker would be having the test read aloud, but I'm not sure.

That's actually a decent thing to be saying, I think. My issue is that saying this is a reversal of the old policy, and that it was done really close to the test date, which seems unfair to a lot of people- Li not knowing how or if he was really going to get to take the test and the test-writers not getting a whole lot of notice (though given that the legal right was already extant and it was just policy makers ignoring this, I don't have all that much sympathy for them.) This should have been the re-iteration of an old policy, not a change in policy, especially considering that other already extant laws guaranteed the right to take the exam and all. But since it's a new policy, hey, at least there's progress?

Now to start on stuff that's not ministry of education legalese. Happily, the news coverage I'm seeing is talking about how the opportunity to take the test is more important than how well Li Jinsheng did, which is something Li himself has been saying since well before the test. It's mostly commenters who seem to be calling it a waste of resources to have let him take it at all, and according to the one article with numbers, even that's a minority. Loud minority, but minority.

And now it's time for sleep for me, given that I have an oral proficiency exam in the morning. They generally ask about news, so I'm totally going to be talking about Li Jinsheng and how he is awesome and such. Next bit about him is probably going to be me finding words he said to journalists from the various articles and translating them into English, because they actually have a lot of words from him! There's some history stuff, too, and some of his words are about that- he did a similar thing with the version of the exam for students who did independent study about 10 years ago, so he's got a history of being activisty around higher education for blind folks.

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