Barrier-Free Network Council receives award for tourist accessibility initiatives
January 6, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On December 25, at the 8th Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Barrier-Free Promotion Awards, non-profit organization “Barrier-Free Network Council” was recognized for operating, among other activities, a tourist information center catering to the physically-impaired and the elderly. This is the second time an Okinawa-based organization has received this award. Delighted, the organization’s director Osamu Oyakawa said, “I am very happy that our efforts have been recognized. We would like to continue helping everyone enjoy Okinawa’s tourist attractions to the fullest.”
The Barrier-Free Network Council was founded in 2002. It operates the first tourist information center specially catering to the physically-impaired and the elderly within a Japanese airport, rents out wheelchairs and other caretaking equipment, and provides information on barrier-free access to tourist attractions in Okinawa.
In 2012, it compiled a “Barrier-Free Evacuation Manual,” which describes evacuation routes and procedures for the mobility-impaired and vulnerable. It also conducted lectures for hotel and attraction staff on proper responses during an emergency.
Director Oyakawa said, “Our activities give people who have disabilities and the elderly the freedom of choice for their vacation. We aim to make tourism in Okinawa truly barrier-free, so anyone can enjoy their trip here.”
(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)
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