Jianwei has overcome the barriers facing most of the 8 million visually impaired people in China. Studying at Essex allowed him to complete a TESOL, an opportunity that would not have been available in China as the national entrance exam for graduate schools does not offer a version to blind candidates.
In preparation for his Essex degree, Jianwei studied English independently for three years before becoming the first visually-impaired candidate to take the IELTS in China's southwest region, a significant achievement.
Since returning to China he has begun his career as a private English tutor. He also raises awareness about the benefits of inclusive education through speeches, media interviews and seminars, and practises this in his own profession.
Jianwei’s inspiring story has been documented in the China Daily and as a television programme on China Central Television. His story has also been followed by the Chinese government; he met the President and Vice Prime Ministers as an attendee of the 2014 National Awards Ceremony for Outstanding Disabled People, where he was honoured as one of 165 national role models for people with disabilities, something Jianwei describes as "the highest honour". The year before, he had been awarded the title of one of the "2013 Top Ten People who have moved to Chongqing", presented by the municipal government of Chongqing.
Jianwei says "my story has already, and will continue, to encourage the blind in China in pursuing their dreams. My current work benefits in closing the gap between visually-impaired people and the so-called mainstream society. I'm focused on developing new and advanced teaching approaches which will build a bridge between students and myself as a visually-impaired teacher."
Jianwei’s long term goal is to found a school in which pupils with diverse needs - whether physical, economic, or cultural - will be accepted, and where disadvantaged pupils will have a chance to develop. He feels this will be of great importance to educational equality, elimination of discrimination and improving the situation of disadvantaged groups' in southwest of China.
His course tutor, Dr Desmond Thomas, believes that "if he finds that attitudes towards disabled teachers in China are still rather negative, he can be part of the solution. He can help change such attitudes using his own personal charisma."
In early 2016, Jianwei won the Social Impact Award at the British Council Education UK Alumni Awards 2016 in China, beating competition from alumni from institutions such as the University of Oxford and Durham University to win this prestigious award.