Japan Updates: May 9, 2011

May 9, 2011

Thanks to assistance from donors around the world, the Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities of the Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake has recently been able to send four cars to disaster-struck areas.  Cars are needed to enable relief efforts by allowing workers to go to where assistance is needed.  Read more at http://dpi.cocolog-nifty.com/en/2011/05/used-light-cars.html#more

The blog Deaf Japan News, reports that a sign language interpreter recently spent a week providing interpretation support for deaf people affected by the earthquake to enable them to communicate during appointments related to their insurance coverage.  Learn more at http://deafjapan.blogspot.com/2011/05/interpreter-supports-deaf-survivors-in.html

A local observer in Japan, Yukiko Nakanishi, reports that the Nippon Foundation has found that 64% of evacuation centers in Japan do not have an accessible toilet.  Read more updates from Yukiko Nakanishi via her twitter feed at http://twitter.com/#!/yuki_adi

People with disabilities or various medical conditions, in some cases, have been renting their own apartments rather than remain at evacuation centers so their specialized care needs can be met.  However, because of current regulations about how assistance can be disseminated, people in apartments are often excluded from certain relief services such as food dissemination or assistance with rent.  Some observers have urged the government to accommodate the needs of people with medical conditions or disabilities.  Read more at http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110419p2a00m0et008000c.html  Another news story also reports on the challenges of people whose needs are not well met at evacuation centers: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/news/20110414p2a00m0na002000c.html

Certain supplies such as medicine for children and diapers have been running low in Japan, creating challenges for relief efforts for people affected by the earthquake and other recent disasters in Japan.  It has been discovered that four of five evacuation centers in the Iwaku-chuou district have residents with disabilities.  Read more findings from a report posted at http://dpi.cocolog-nifty.com/en/2011/04/15th-april-repo.html

Children with autism in Japan reportedly have great difficulty adapting to chaotic life in crowded evacuation shelters.  As a result, some families with autistic children have moved out of shelters and back into partly destroyed homes.  Read more at http://ja-jp.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=153934138002613

Some relief centers in Japan have been refusing to serve people with disabilities due to lack of accessibility.  One child with higher brain disfunction has only been able to attend school twice a week.  Read more discoveries in a report shared at http://dpi.cocolog-nifty.com/en/2011/04/inspection-tour.html

The Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities of the Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake has found that evacuation centers are frequently unaware that people with disabilities are already using their services.  Read more findings from the same report shared at http://dpi.cocolog-nifty.com/en/2011/04/report-of-the-r.html 

As of April 26, more than 500 people around the world had given a total of more than 27 million Yen (more than $340 thousand US dollars) to Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities of the Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake.  The Relief Headquarters has been delivering food and other supplies to people with disabilities affected by the disasters that struck northeast Japan in March.  People with disabilities in Japan in some cases have been disproportionately affected by the disasters--yet they are often underserved by other humanitarian relief efforts.  Shelters, for example, are not always accessible for people with various types of disabilities.  The Relief Headquarters, coordinated by USICD's sister organization Disabled People's International (DPI) Japan, continues to need more donations.  People may donate via credit card at http://www.dpi-japan.org/bokin_k/dpien.html or via bank transfer:

Account with Bank:?The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd
Branch:?Kanda Branch
Beneficiary’s Account Number:?Account No.331-1187475
Beneficiary’s Name:?DPI-Japan