By Barrier Free Japan
April 14 2021
The Japanese comedian and Rakugo storyteller Hawking Aoyama, who is a wheelchair user due to a congenital condition, responded to Natsuko Izena’s blog post in The Daily Shincho about being denied access to a JR train.:
Hawking Aoyama wrote about such issues in his book, “Thinking Handicapped”:
“When we think about the social advancement of people with disabilities, or the fact that people with disabilities live normally, we always run into this problem. We advise people with disabilities and companies on how to work for persons with disabilities, but such “reasonable accommodation” is necessary for persons with disabilities to work.
However, this also requires a considerable amount of money and time and effort.
it’s definitely best to be able to respond to sudden arrivals in wheelchairs without prior notice. Is the “reasonable accommodation” stipulated in the “Disability Discrimination Elimination Law”, but in reality, I think it is quite difficult to deal with this.”
Hawking says that the situation has improved little by little because there are ancestors who have fought or endured against it.
“I think that if you use a method like exercising your strength, it will not be understood by people with disabilities, but it will not lead to repulsion. Is it really good for other people with disabilities?
It’s definitely best to have people respond normally on the spot without contacting them, just like healthy people, and that’s what makes them truly barrier-free.
The current situation has not reached that level, and I think it is important to raise that issue.
In the past, there were more refusals to board, and I have experienced it.
However, in the last 20 years or so, barrier-free access has progressed at a stretch, and now, as long as you “contact us in advance”, you will not be denied boarding.
Of course, this is not good, and it is ideal to further make it barrier-free, but even if you look at the comments from the people involved this time, at least they do not say “I do not want to put it on”. So, rather, he even said, “If you contact us in advance, we can respond without waiting,” so I thought it was not a good thing to have an honest conflict.
The reality is that many people with disabilities have had the experience of infringing or being deprived of what they should be able to exercise as a natural right because of their disability, and have lived with their regrets and anger. I want you to know it, I want you to understand it … I understand that there are many people with disabilities who have such feelings because they are in the same position.
On the other hand, even if you say “barrier-free”, you can only proceed with understanding, and if you try to proceed based on anger, you will get a backlash and no one will benefit in the end. I wondered if it would end up. “