Category: Barrier Free

Barrier Free Disability Japan Podcast Politics Reiwa Shinsengumi

Disability News Japan Podcast: Text-to-Speech software used for 1st time in Japan’s Diet by lawmaker with ALS

Lawmaker Yasuhiko Funago, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, on Friday 27th January 2023, became the first in Japan to ask questions using a text-to-speech function of a computer in a parliamentary plenary meeting.

Barrier Free Disability Japan Podcast Travel

Will the relaxed rules regarding e-scooters in Japan also apply to mobility scooters? | 日本でのeスクーターに関する規制緩和は、モビリティスクーターにも適用されるのでしょうか?

When preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan Railways (JR), based on guidance from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport required that when at JR stations, mobility scooters:

“move at a speed no more than 2km/h and follow the instructions and warnings of the train attendant, and do not use routes other than the ones specified.”

Barrier Free Disability Japan

Why is Japan Seemingly Obsessed with “Barrier-Free Minds”?

“Barrier-free minds” is a phrase that various parts of the Japanese government uses often in its various campaigns to raise awareness of disability issues; and of course, raising awareness of the needs of people with disabilities within the non-disabled population of Japan is a positive thing. However sometimes the desire of the Japanese government to talk about “barrier-free minds”, seems to replace any talk or action about developing ‘barrier-free spaces’. It is all very well and good to talk about “barrier-free minds”, but sometimes, people with disabilities need accessible physical spaces, ultimately no ‘positive attitude’ will turn that staircase into an elevator.

Barrier Free Japan Tourism

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism campaign highlights proper use of facilities and promotes “barrier-free minds”

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has established appropriate facilities and equipment such as barrier-free toilets, parking facilities for wheelchair users, elevators in passenger facilities, and priority seats in vehicles so that those who truly need them can use them when they need them. The Ministry will carry out a campaign to promote the use of these facilities and promote “barrier-free minds.”

Barrier Free Disability Japan

Ten years after its creation, use of ‘Help Mark’ symbol spreading in Japan

Created by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2012 to help people with hidden impediments, or “invisible disabilities.” This includes people with prosthetic legs, artificial joints, internal ailments, and rare diseases. However public recognition of the sign remained low. The free-of-charge distribution of tags with the symbol had begun in all 47 prefectures in the country by October 2021.