Change the city – make it barrier free

On the same day as the meeting with our friends from Gokase a welfare workshop took place.

Members of Groundwork Fukuoka and townspeople from Joyo gathered in Hotaru to Ishibashi Kan for an investigation of the building. Is it barrier free? Are there obstacles, which could make it hard for handicapped or very old people to enter? Could wheelchair users experience the whole building, or do they have to wait in front of the stairs while their friends walk on the upper floor?

Those and other similar questions were our guideline for the search on barriers, our aim for this day. It was mainly the search for problematic zones as there could be too big differences in the height of the crossing from the parking area to entrance, or if there are western or Japanese style toilet seats, which could be an enormous obstacle if you are handicapped. But this workshop doesn’t only work in one direction. In the same time, when the “not handicapped” people search for obstacles, they get to know what they maybe didn’t realize before, barriers that didn’t exist in their eyes.

For the future we want to do more on this theme. We are planning on being more informative, printing posters, report in television, magazines, newspapers also pupils should get to know what it means to bee handicapped. Therefore elementary schools will be visited by us and specialists.

Although in the meantime the searching goes on as there is a lot more to find out
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