Reply To: Article on wheelchair accessibility in Tokyo before the Olympics and Paralympics

  • Kelly

    November 6, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Such a great article! I love that scholars & activists are using the momentum of the Games to advocate for larger changes that need to happen for life to be better for all. We were in Japan for 6 months of 2017– my younger son uses a wheelchair so we were extra aware of accessibility issues. The buzz from the Games is great and I believe that visibility and knowledge are part of change. Money and infrastructure changes also help.

    While Tokyo is so much more accessible than many other big cities (New York!) it is not without its issues which the article makes very clear. It only took facing a set stairs once for us to have to completely reroute our trip–I can only imagine how that must feel if that is your daily commute or if you have minimal language skills.

    While I know that just hosting the Games does not lead to a host city becoming a completely barrier-free utopias. I am so hopeful that the visibility,  positive publicity, and attention will result in some meaningful changes that will lead to lasting changes in both the built environment and in people’s attitudes towards disability.

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