Lawyer Tang Shuai is well-known for his expertise in advocating on behalf of deaf and mute clients, and his specialist team of legal eagles. They use various forms of sign language to communicate with clients, ensuring that their voices are heard in the legal system. Wang Ru reports that Tang’s journey began at a young age when he was just 4 years old.
At that time, Tang’s father suddenly fell ill and was sent to a hospital. However, he was unable to describe his ailment to the doctor due to his deaf and mute condition. The doctor was unable to make an accurate diagnosis, highlighting the challenges that deaf and mute individuals face in accessing healthcare services. This experience left a lasting impression on Tang, and he knew from then on that he wanted to help those who faced similar difficulties.
Fast forward to today, Tang is a successful lawyer based in Southwest China’s Chongqing. He has gained a reputation for his dedication to cases related to deaf and mute clients. His team of legal eagles employs various forms of sign language to communicate with their clients, ensuring that they are fully understood and represented in the legal system. Their commitment to breaking down communication barriers has made a positive impact on the lives of many clients.
Tang’s work is not just about providing legal representation; he also aims to raise awareness about the challenges that deaf and mute individuals face in their daily lives. Through his work, he hopes to inspire others to take action and advocate for the rights of the hearing-impaired community. Tang’s story serves as a reminder that with dedication and determination, individuals can make a positive impact in their communities.
Tang Shuai’s journey to become a renowned lawyer dedicated to serving the deaf and mute community began at a young age. His personal experience with the challenges that his father faced in accessing healthcare services due to his condition left a lasting impression on him. Today, Tang and his team of legal eagles use various forms of sign language to communicate with their clients and ensure that their voices are heard in the legal system. Tang’s commitment to breaking down communication barriers and raising awareness about the challenges faced by the hearing-impaired community serves as an inspiration to many.
Tang Shuai was deeply affected by the experience of seeing his father in pain and unable to communicate his condition to the doctor. This motivated him to learn sign language, so that he could help his parents and others in the same situation. Despite his parents’ resistance to him learning sign language due to a sense of shame associated with their condition, Tang remained determined to acquire the skill.
Born in Chongqing in 1985, Tang grew up in a household where both of his parents were deaf and mute. Due to the stigma attached to their condition, Tang’s parents sent him to live with his grandparents and discouraged him from learning sign language. However, Tang’s desire to help his parents and others who faced similar challenges fueled his determination to learn the language.
Through persistence and hard work, Tang eventually became fluent in sign language, allowing him to communicate effectively with his parents and others in the deaf and mute community. This skill would later become instrumental in his legal career, where he dedicated himself to advocating for the rights of this community.
Tang’s journey is a testament to the power of determination and the importance of breaking down barriers to communication. Despite the challenges he faced in learning sign language, he remained committed to his goal, and his efforts have made a significant impact on the lives of many. Tang’s story serves as an inspiration to those who face similar obstacles in their pursuit of success.
Tang Shuai recalls that his parents believed that individuals with hearing and speech impairments were relegated to a low social status. They discouraged him from learning sign language, hoping he would avoid association with the deaf and mute community. Despite their reservations, Tang was motivated to learn sign language after seeing his father’s struggles at the hospital.
Determined to help his parents and others in the deaf and mute community, Tang began learning sign language from his grandmother and his parents’ colleagues at a local factory. With persistence and practice, he became proficient in sign language, enabling him to communicate effectively with his parents and others in the community.
Tang’s decision to learn sign language against his parents’ wishes demonstrates his dedication to advocating for the rights of the deaf and mute community. His journey highlights the importance of breaking down communication barriers and challenging social stigmas. Tang’s story serves as a reminder that with determination and perseverance, individuals can overcome obstacles and make a positive impact in their communities.
As a primary school student, Tang Shuai became aware of the existence of different “dialects” of sign language when he was unable to understand the sign language used by friends of his parents. This realization prompted him to seek out opportunities to learn various types of sign language from tourists at popular attractions in Chongqing.
Through his interactions with the deaf and mute community, Tang developed a deep understanding of their needs and became a bridge between them and society at large. When he realized that they often encountered problems with legal affairs, he began to assist them and eventually established a team of lawyers, many of whom are also deaf or mute, to represent them. Over the past decade, Tang’s law firm has helped more than 200,000 deaf and mute individuals.
After graduating from high school, Tang faced financial pressure when his parents were laid off. He dropped out of school to work in various jobs, including as a construction worker, bar singer, and shop assistant. Despite these challenges, Tang remained determined to make a positive impact in his community and continued to pursue his goals.
Tang’s dedication to the deaf and mute community and his tireless efforts to advocate for their rights have made a significant impact in their lives. Through his work as a lawyer, he has helped to ensure that this often marginalized group is treated fairly and given the support they need to thrive. Tang’s story is a testament to the power of determination and the importance of breaking down barriers to communication and opportunity. His efforts serve as an inspiration to all those who seek to make a positive impact in their communities.
In 2005, Tang Shuai’s proficiency in sign language presented an opportunity for him to make a significant impact. When a group of suspected thieves, who were all deaf and mute, were arrested by the public security bureau in Jiulongpo district of Chongqing, the police were unable to interrogate them due to the communication barrier. Tang was asked to assist and provided sign language translation for half an hour, resulting in the accused confessing to their crimes.
This successful interaction caught the attention of the bureau, who recruited Tang to help deal with cases related to deaf and mute individuals. Tang’s work as a translator for the bureau has allowed him to help in more than 1,000 cases over the years. His expertise in sign language has enabled him to bridge the communication gap between the deaf and mute community and law enforcement, ensuring that justice is served for all.
Tang’s motivation to help the deaf and mute community stems from his personal experiences growing up with parents who share the same conditions. He witnessed firsthand the helplessness and injustices faced by those who cannot communicate effectively in a hearing world. He was heartbroken by their struggles and felt compelled to make a difference.
Tang’s willingness to help has allowed him to become a powerful advocate for the deaf and mute community. He has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of their struggles and to break down barriers to communication and opportunity. His passion for helping others has made him a respected figure in his community, and his impact has been felt far beyond the walls of his law firm or the public security bureau.
In many ways, Tang’s story represents the power of determination and the importance of compassion. His work has made a significant difference in the lives of those he has helped, and his commitment to advocating for their rights has set an example for others to follow. Through his actions, he has shown that no matter how difficult the circumstances may be, there is always a way to make a positive impact.
Tang’s passion for advocating for the rights of the deaf and mute community continued to grow as he witnessed their struggles in society. He believed that they deserved to play a fair role in society and protect their legitimate interests. However, due to their disabilities, they often faced difficulties in understanding their legal rights and obligations, making it difficult for them to seek justice when their interests were infringed upon or to remedy their actions when they broke the law.
With a desire to better assist his clients, Tang decided to become a lawyer. He resigned from his previous job in 2011 and enrolled at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, where he gained his certification as a lawyer in 2012. He then established his own law firm and began providing essential legal support to the deaf and mute community.
One major challenge that Tang and his clients encountered was the existence of different dialects of sign language. As he explained, people from different regions had their own versions of sign language, which varied significantly from the standard form taught in schools. This often led to misunderstandings in communication and misinterpretation of their expressions, adding another layer of complexity to their interactions with others.
Despite these challenges, Tang remained dedicated to his work and his clients, organizing a team of lawyers, most of whom are deaf and some who are mute, to represent them. Over the past decade, his law firm has helped more than 200,000 deaf and mute people, providing them with the legal support they need to navigate the complexities of the legal system.
In 2016, Tang Shuai encountered a worried mother seeking his legal help. The woman’s daughter had been charged with theft, but the mother insisted that her daughter was innocent. Tang immediately took action and headed to the police station where the daughter was detained. Upon speaking with the girl, she also professed her innocence.
Tang didn’t stop there. He continued his investigation and went to the local procuratorate to check the evidence for the case. After careful examination, he discovered that the translator had misinterpreted the girl’s expression due to the dialect of the sign language used during the interrogation. The translator believed that the girl had confessed to the crime, when in fact she had been declaring her innocence.
As a result of Tang’s diligent work and investigation, the young woman was exonerated and saved from wrongful imprisonment.
This case highlights the challenges faced by the deaf and mute community in the legal system, particularly in relation to communication barriers. Tang’s experience and understanding of various sign language dialects allowed him to identify the mistake made during the interrogation and correct it.
Tang’s dedication to serving the deaf and mute community through his legal practice has enabled him to make a significant difference in the lives of those he serves, including ensuring that their legal rights are upheld and justice is served.
According to Tang, in China, there are over 27 million people who are deaf and mute. As they face difficulties finding employment and supporting their families, some of them resort to criminal activities. “Moreover, due to their limited legal understanding and education, they may not be aware of the severity of their actions, which can lead to them committing crimes,” says Tang.
To enhance the legal knowledge of the deaf and mute community, Tang has created short videos that explain law-related concepts. He has also established a public WeChat account where he provides legal consultation services to the deaf and mute through video calls.
Since 2017, Tang has assembled a team of five deaf and mute lawyers and has trained them for a year. The team comprises three advocates with basic listening and speaking skills and two lawyers with expertise in standard sign language and different dialects. The team has assisted Tang in disseminating law-related information and providing legal services to the deaf and mute community.
One of the team members, Tan Ting, made history in 2020 by passing the legal exam and becoming China’s first deaf lawyer. Tang asserts that Ting’s achievement will pave the way for other deaf and mute people to become lawyers and inspire them to fight for their rights.
Tang’s efforts to improve legal access for the deaf and mute community have led to the launch of an experimental class at Southwest University of Political Science and Law in 2021. The class is designed to enroll 40 fresh students annually to study both law and sign language. Tang and Tan are both teachers of the class, which will eventually include deaf and mute students.
The launch of the experimental class is a significant milestone, providing a platform for deaf and mute people to become legal professionals and represent their community. Tang hopes that the class will cultivate more legal professionals who understand the communication barriers and cultural differences faced by the deaf and mute community.
Ma Wenrui, a 21-year-old student in the experimental class, is determined to use her legal knowledge to protect the legal rights of the deaf and mute community. She sees herself as a trailblazer, paving the way for more deaf and mute people to understand and obey the law.
The success of the experimental class will create a new generation of legal professionals, who are not only familiar with the law but also understand the unique challenges faced by the deaf and mute community. Tang and his team’s efforts to increase legal access and knowledge for the deaf and mute community are helping to create a more just society for all.