“People with disabilities must be a valued part of society, with full rights and dignity.”

As a scholar-activist, Zhiying Ma is committed to studying the lives of persons with disabilities and promoting disability rights and justice in China. Her research as an anthropologist goes hand in hand with her advocacy efforts as a member of the disability community.

Zhiying has studied the lives of people with psychosocial disabilities and their families in China for over a decade. Based on this research, she has worked with civil society organizations on community inclusion projects, and is now working with stakeholders to develop peer support services for this population. She has also worked on promoting the wellbeing and rights of other marginalized groups with disabilities, and on enhancing the research and advocacy capacity of organizations of persons with disabilities.

Vision: People with disabilities should be able to live with rights and dignity, and fully exercise their capabilities. It’s critical to work with and amplify the voices of the most vulnerable persons with disabilities, improve social policies and make services more responsive to their experiences and needs.