Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"Equality program helping to create awareness of disabilities in Japan"

This is not really a visual anthro topic but it is very important none the less and very under reported. From Japan Today, 4/5/16:

Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and the enactment of a law banning discrimination against the disabled on April 1, a program called “disability equality training” has attracted attention from local municipalities and universities in Japan.

The program is aimed at raising awareness mainly among people without disabilities and creating a better society for disabled people, based on the concept that people are disadvantaged by social barriers.

In February, about 20 students and officials of the Tokyo metropolitan government took part in the training program organized by Keio University in Yokohama near Tokyo.

The participants watched a short film depicting a world where non-disabled people are treated the other way around and face various kinds of discrimination. It showed a non-disabled main character being prevented from getting on a bus only for wheelchair users, and facing embarrassment at a job interview.

The training program is being offered by Disability Equality Training Forum, a nonprofit organization based in Tokyo.

Conventional programs have mainly focused on how to assist the disabled, and have therefore failed to make non-disabled people feel the issue concerns them too, said Ryoko Yamazaki, 46, a wheelchair user who served as a moderator at the event in Yokohama.

The new program is aimed at encouraging people to “realize that disabilities disappear if people around (the disabled) change” their attitudes, said Yamazaki.

Stairs are seen as barriers for wheelchair users, but the barriers disappear if slopes are set up. Likewise, barrier-free minds could help put an end to discrimination, she added.

According to DET Forum, its training courses have been held about 60 times across Japan since 2014, with more than 1,200 people having participated.

There are 48 people with physical or mental disabilities who have received 60 hours of special training to serve as moderators for the training program.

The scheme was adopted at the time of the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics for the event’s volunteers.

According to the Tokyo metropolitan government, more than 90,000 volunteers are expected to be mobilized for the Tokyo Olympics.

Yasushi Nakano, a Keio University professor specializing in barrier-free issues, said, “To change society, companies need to change.

“I would like to spread the training program to universities nationwide so that students, when they start working, can take initiatives to help end discrimination in their workplaces,” he added.


But why does Japan need to use the Olympics as excuse for these much needed programs and laws?

1 comment:

Mahizh Jaz said...

Nice blog ....Conducting such these programs helps to create a big awareness among all.

Mahizh from Edubilla