Edited and translated from NHK
December 2nd 2019
A workshop was held in Saitama City to help volunteers at the Tokyo Olympics experience the lives of people with disabilities and learn how to guide them.
The workshop was held in Saitama Prefecture for “city volunteers” who guide the audience around the venue.
Four competitions are scheduled to take place in Saitama Prefecture. On the 2nd, about 20 people gathered at Saitama Shintoshin Station, the nearest venue for the basketball.
First of all, they learned how to operate, such as changing directions and applying brakes, as a wheelchair user and a person pushing the wheelchair.
After that, they moved in front of a ticket vending machine and it was difficult to see the letters from the wheelchair, so he was instructed that volunteers had to speak out actively.
In addition, to simulate the experience of visually impaired, they were blindfolded and walked on the braille block, and slowly proceeded while checking the position of the block with their feet and feet.
When guiding visually impaired people, they learned about cautions, such as speaking first without touching the body, or guiding them by holding them on their arms or shoulders.
A woman in her 60s volunteering at a basketball venue said, “I didn’t know that moving a wheelchair was so heavy. I wanted to talk to people with disabilities at the Olympics.”
Also, a man in his 60s said, “I thought I was walking straight, but I was off the block. I want to make use of today ’s experience for actual guidance.”
Satoshi Imamura, the chief of the Saitama Olympics and Paralympics Division, said, “I want to connect to better hospitality through training because we can understand the feelings of people with disabilities through actual experience.”