下村和也

What Are Accessibility And Discrimination?

Through my American life, the most impressive thing is their thinking of accessibility and discrimination.

The definitions of discrimination and accessibility in the states are different from those of Japan.

The definition of discrimination in the states is the "FACT" that handicapped people cannot access where they want to. For example, Deaf/hard of hearing(HH) people cannot call telephone without any help. Americans think that the fact is just discrimination.

On the other hand, Japanese think that discrimination is the "SAD FEELING" resulted from unfair treatment. For example, a deaf man is refused to hire because of his disability in a job interview, he should feel sad.Japanese think the treatment made him sad is discrimination.

The difference of the thinking between the states and Japan makes each society different. In the states, Deaf/HH people can call telephone with relay service. Relay service is run by AT&T. American Sign Language interpreters help Deaf/HH people's calls. Moreover, the companies in the states must consider about the accessibility of handicapped people. For example, wheel chair can access almost all places in the states. In addition, Deaf/HH people can join in the meeting, because there is a sign language interpreter.

From my point of view, all handicapped people have longed for the accessibility for a long time. I believe that accessibility is the most important thing for handicapped people. Perfect accessibility makes handicapped people non-handicapped. I strongly believe that I can work more smoothly in the states than Japan.