Blind Braille Disability Paralympics Tokyo 2020

Disability group claims Olympic and Paralympic ticket vendors inaccessible to the blind, violating Organizing Committee Guidelines

“The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee for 2010 did not create Braille materials explaining how to purchase tickets for the tournament or a CD that provides necessary information by voice. A disability organization argues that it is "in violation of the guidelines for 'barrier-free' set by the organizing committee." ”

Written with extracts from The Tokyo Shimbun

September 4th 2019

The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee for 2010 did not create Braille materials explaining how to purchase tickets for the tournament or a CD that provides necessary information by voice. A disability organization argues that it is “in violation of the guidelines for ‘barrier-free’ set by the organizing committee. ”

The organization is the “Tokyo Metropolitan Blind Welfare Association”, which has a membership of around 1,300 visually impaired people. The organization committee stipulates in the guidelines “Tokyo 2020 Accessibility Guidelines” that “all public documents should be provided in Braille, text data, expanded characters or audio format”. The association called for the creation of Braille materials in July this year.

In response to this, the Organizing Committee explained that the ticket purchase website has been read aloud and a dedicated dial for people who need to consider it has been installed. “It was decided we shouldn’t make Braille prints and CDs because they can’t be modified later. I can’t distribute them only to groups in Tokyo.”

According to the Metropolitan Blind Welfare Association, in July last year, they requested the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau to improve because there was little information for the visually impaired about the Olympics and Paralympic Games . The tournament guidebook was accompanied by a voice code, but after that, it was said that “I don’t know how to purchase tickets”.

The association pointed out that there are many people who cannot use computers and smartphones, especially elderly people.

“We wanted you to guide us with the main points of the purchase method and dialing phone numbers only in Braille and CD,” said the association’s chairman Yoshihiko Sasakawa. The national organization of the visually impaired group, the Japan Blind Association, also said, “It is strange not to provide information in the format indicated in the guidelines.”

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