How do we eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities?

Extracts From The Yomiuri Shimbun

26th December 2017

Q: I heard about discrimination against people with disabilities, what kind of things?

A: There are many reports of inconvenient feelings and unreasonable treatment that persons with disabilities face in their lives. For example, a visually impaired person with a guide dog and a user of a wheelchair are declined to enter a restaurant, refusing an apartment lease contract on the ground that there are obstacles.

Q: Awful. How can we get rid of discrimination?

A: In order to eliminate such discrimination, the law enacted in April 2016 is the “discrimination against disabled people” law. Municipalities and enterprises are prohibited from refusing or limiting the provision of services due to disability. It will also cover individual businesses and NPOs. Besides that, we also ask for consideration as much as possible to make service easier to use. It is said that “rational consideration” requires the government office to make obligation, to make efforts to consider companies, shops and so on.

Q: What is reasonable accommodation?

A: For example, when a visually impaired person arrives at a city office counter, the staff reads out the contents of the document and explains it. For people with hearing impairment, explain using a tablet or tablet terminal. For those who use wheelchairs, it is a reasonable accommodation to add a slope to the entrance of the store. It is thought that not doing such consideration is discrimination. Even if it violates the law, there are no penalties, but if the discrimination cannot be expected by repeating discrimination, the country can be advised, guidance and recommendation.

Q: Will this law make it easier for people with disabilities to live better?

A: Even in a survey published by the Cabinet Office this September, about 80% of respondents said that they do not know this law. To eliminate discrimination, it is still a halfway road. A society that is easy for people with disabilities to live will be a society that is easy for all people to live, including the elderly, children, pregnant women. Each of us must be conscious and have to make efforts to make a comfortable society.


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