Japan Updates: May 25, 2011

May 25, 2011

According to personal communication with a contact involved with relief efforts in Japan, one disabled people's organization in Japan has discovered that people with disabilities have been returning to their houses in Minami Soma City--just 30 kilometers (18 miles) from troubled nuclear reactors.  They have returned home because temporary accommodation was not accessible for them.

People with disabilities first had difficulty evacuating a nuclear-contaminated area in Fukushima, Japan, then were discouraged from participating in a program that brought some residents back to the area for a temporary visit. Read more at http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110504p2a00m0na004000c.html

Disabled Peoples' International Japan sent a petition to government officials in Japan urging that short term relief and long term reconstruction efforts be more inclusive of people with disabilities.  DPI-Japan noted various barriers and difficulties that people with disabilities have faced in relief efforts and proposed steps for addressing these issues.  For example, they noted that some people with disabilities have had difficulties accessing continued personal care support after evacuating to shelters and suggested policy modifications to allow them to receive this support even if they need to evacuate to a different city.  They also request that information be provided about the extent to which press conferences and other news programs on the disasters and relief efforts have used captioning for deaf viewers.  Read more of their petition at http://dpi.cocolog-nifty.com/en/2011/05/petition-for-co.html

Local observer Nakanishi Yukiko reports that the Iwaki Independent Living Center and the Fukushima Independent Living Center in Fukushima have made their own evacuation plan in anticipation of further nuclear contamination.  She also reports that volunteers of Doshisha University at Kyoto have given remote captioning for deaf students of Miyagi Ed. University devastated by quake.  Read more reports via her tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/yuki_adi

As of May 11, more than 600 people have donated more than $350,000 US dollars to on-going relief efforts for people with disabilities in Japan. People with disabilities are frequently excluded from mainstream relief efforts because shelters may be inaccessible for people with mobility impairments, news and important announcements about available services may be inaccessible for people who are deaf or who are blind.  Contributions to the Relief Headquarters in Japan are being used to deliver food, water, diapers, and other needed supplies to people with disabilities who have been affected by the multiple disasters that struck northeast Japan in March this year.  Relief Headquarters is continuing to accept donations 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