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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 24 - 30  > Visually impaired persons’ group in national conference celebrates its 50 year history
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2017 May 24 - 30 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Visually impaired persons’ group in national conference celebrates its 50 year history

May 29, 2017
On its 50th year anniversary, the National Counsel of Visual Disabled in Japan (Zenshikyo) on May 26-28 held a general meeting in Shizuoka’s Atami City. The organization has been working to create a fairer and more inclusive society for the visually impaired.

During the three-day meeting, 300 delegates from across Japan looked back on what Zenshikyo has accomplished in recent years. With help from Zenshikyo, Okayama College Associate Professor Yamaguchi Yukiko won a district court ruling nullifying her employer’s demotion order, though the ruling is not yet finalized. In addition, pushed by Zenshikyo, the Transport Ministry decided to oblige car makers to equip cars with vehicle approaching notification systems.

On the final day, seven workshops were held on the themes of employment, daily lives, insurance, and other topics.

At a workshop on public transportation, participants talked about various problems such as provision of barrier-free measures in bus service systems and the increase in the number of unmanned train stations. A delegate from Niigata said that at the request of people with visual impairment, local bus service operators started to offer half-price fare not only for persons with impaired vision but also for their companions. Other delegates said that they had nearly fallen from a platform at an unattended railway station and they called for more safety measures.

At the closing plenary meeting, delegates adopted a resolution stating that Zenshikyo will work to realize members’ demands and put a stop to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s runaway policies threatening human rights, welfare, and peace. The assembly also adopted a special resolution to keep offering support to Assistant Professor Yamaguchi in her court battle to gain reinstatement to her teaching position.

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