Zhang Haidi was born in 1955 in Jinan of Shandong province. She began to work in 1981, and joined the CPC in 1982. She graduated from Philosophy Department of Jilin University.
She has been disabled since five years old because of illness, but she acquires the great achievement on the translation and literary fields, and also becomes a good example for Chinese people with her sturdily working. Now she is Chairman of the 5th Presidium of China Disabled Persons' Federation.
Zhang contracted polio as a child and following four operations to remove tumors from her spine, was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Zhang was unable to attend school but educated herself to university level. She learnt several foreign languages including English, Japanese, German and Esperanto. In 1993, she was awarded a master's degree in Philosophy by Jilin University.
Zhang has published a dual-language book called Beautiful English and has translated several works of western literature. She works together with her husband who is not disabled. Zhang believes the disabled should not lower their sights in the search for love.
"Don't sell yourself short, and try your best to build a happy family life," is her advice to other disabled people.
Zhang profoundly understands the suffering of China's disabled people. She uses her position on the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to call for the improvement of disabled access to buildings and campaigns on the right of disabled people to drive.