Monday, July 13, 2009

Japan Is Disabled-Friendly!

Source: BBC

My number one reason for visiting the country was to ride on a wheelchair accessible escalator. I don't mean some special 'crip only' contraption, nor being tipped back and balanced precariously on the steps of a normal one, but instead the kind of escalator where wheelchair users can travel alongside everyone else. I don't recall where I first heard about their existence; maybe these magical moving marvels were the stuff of imagination or perhaps an accessible urban myth I'd once heard? I decided to visit Japan to find out the truth.

On arrival, what I actually discovered was that Japan is without question one of the most crip-friendly countries that I've ever visited. Every pavement had a slope for wheelies and raised markings to assist blind people. I saw disabled people of all ages and impairments going about their everyday lives. People even stared less at me in Japan than they do in the UK.


This surprises me quite alot. In my experiences, I found Asians to be quite intolerent about someone having a pimple let alone a disability. My dad mocks handicapped people all the time. It's pretty sad :(

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