Suddenly, have you heard about the signature drive mentioned in the title, started by wheelchair user Miku?
For wheelchair users, this is a long-standing concern, and we are very sympathetic to the content of the petition.
It was also posted on the online signature site account ☟
We would like to introduce the details of the petition drive by quoting its contents in the hope that as many people as possible will become aware of this reality that we face when getting on and off the train in a wheelchair, and that it will help change society and its mechanisms.
Also, this signature drive is open until Sunday, October 30.
We would be grateful if you could feel something by reading the signatures and the insta-story, but if you feel empathy, we would appreciate it if you could help us by taking one-action action.
↓Signature site is here
Please read to the end as we will explain how to sign the petition.
- Signature Summary
- How the signature drive was launched
- Details of Signature Campaign
- Notice of Campaign
- Signature Method
- Related Articles
The following is a brief summary of the signature drive, which has now collected over 40,000 signatures.
- It has been about 6 months since we started.
- 10,000 signatures were collected within 4 days of its launch.
- It is an individual signature drive, not some group.
- Information is being sent out via Miku’s Instagram
- Signatures (endorsements) are being accepted until Sunday, October 30
How the signature drive was launched
This activity began with an Instagram post on the day we launched the petition (April 5, 2022).
We are now actively disseminating information on Instagram.
For more information on the status of the spread, follow Miku’s story here.
You can also see many of the supporters in the highlights of the installations.
A compact summary of the signature campaign is available.
Currently collecting signatures at Change.org.
The short URL is www.change.org/jrbetteraccessibility
When sharing URLs on Instagram, insert the URL above to link to it.
*Note that long URLs cannot be posted!
Below is the full campaign content from the signature site in its entirety.
Details of Signature Campaign
Do you know?
Have you ever been on a station platform in time to catch a train, but were unable to board the train in front of you?
We wheelchair users routinely fail to board trains that depart 10 or even 20 minutes before the departure time.
Why is that?
It is because JR trains throughout Japan follow the principle rule of guiding wheelchair users who use ramps: “We cannot get on the train until we are contacted at the drop-off station. Even if we have 30 minutes to ride the train, it is not possible for us to contact the train while we are on the train, and we cannot board the train in front of us unless the drop-off station is contacted.
In fact, many times I and other wheelchair users have had the experience of seeing off several trains in front of us and waiting for a train many times longer than others in hot or cold weather.
There are many times when I am told, as a matter of course, that the next train is not going to arrive for another 10 minutes, but I am told that it will not arrive in time for the call, so I will have to wait for the next one.
Even if the station attendant at the boarding station does his best to hurry up, it is not uncommon to be refused by the station attendant at the alighting station you contacted, saying that the next one is too urgent.
In the luck of “kindness.”
Of course, there are station staff who will hurry up so that you can catch the train that arrives three minutes later, and there are also station staff who will respond quickly if they become acquainted with you. We also try to arrive at the station early in consideration of the station attendant’s response.
Even so, if we do not know the station staff or if they are not accustomed to handling wheelchairs, we may have to wait up to 20 minutes to get on the train.
But not many people know that we actually live like that, and when I told them how the JR system works, I wondered if there are many people who don’t really understand it, and every time I did, I got tired of explaining the situation to the people around me, and sometimes lied to them that the reason I was late was because I was feeling sick.
Every time I have such an experience, I feel indescribable sadness and frustration, thinking, “It really wasn’t my fault, but rather I left with enough time to spare,” “Do they think we wheelchair users are allowed on any train?” and “Is it really so special that I want to ride the train in front of me? .
We wheelchair users do not just want to ride the train. Most of us use trains as a means of transportation with the same “purpose” and “time constraints” as people who can walk, such as commuting to work, school, or going out.
So we “need” to get on the train in front of us just like other people who can walk.
The problem is not “people” but “mechanism
I am not trying to blame JR’s on-site station staff. I want to change the “JR system” which is based on the assumption that wheelchair users are not allowed to board the train in front of them, not the station staff individually.
We need such a JR system that “wheelchair users can always get on the train in front of them”, not a system that depends on the degree of acquaintance and the kindness of station staff.
On private railways other than JR, it is usually possible for wheelchair users to get on the train in front of them. This is because they have established a system to first get us on the train and contact the drop-off station in the meantime, or to contact the drop-off station immediately, even if they cannot contact the drop-off station.
If other private railways can do this, I am sure that JR can also introduce such a system.
Some people may say that I am being selfish. Don’t you think we should be grateful to be allowed to ride the train even though we are in a wheelchair?
But we are not ungrateful to be able to ride the train. We are truly grateful to the station staff.
But we didn’t become disabled because we like it. It is not the “feelings” of gratitude or non-gratitude that are the problem, but the “fact” that we are restricted from “getting on the train in front of us,” an action that people who can walk take for granted, simply because we happen to be in the position of “handicapped,” a position that we did not choose.
About 40 years ago, there was a time when we wheelchair users were considered selfish to ride public transportation. People with disabilities should stay at home and not bother others.
In response to this social tendency, disabled people and their fellow able-bodied people at that time raised their voices, and barrier-free stations were built and the legal system was established. The fact that we are now able to use public transportation as a matter of course is not because it happened naturally, but because of the efforts of these people.
What was once said to be “selfishness of people with disabilities” has changed through their voices, and is now seen as a common sight. Once that has been done, I believe that surely the next step that should be taken is for “wheelchair users to be able to ride the trains in front of us.
The “Poor” Solution
I am often told, “I feel sorry for you because you are in a wheelchair.
However, I believe that the real problem behind that statement is not the fact that I am in a wheelchair, but the social disadvantage that being in a wheelchair creates. If everyone is given a fair chance, whether they are in a wheelchair or not, if we can ride the train in front of us, we can lead lives no different from those who can walk.
In other words, we can eliminate one of the reasons people feel sorry for us. There is a solution that we can all work together to change that perspective before we are told we are pitiful.
Blaming what is happening at the field level will not change anything. What we need to do is to make sure that as many voices as possible are heard and delivered to the right places.
Please help us to do this.
Everyone” has nothing to do with whether you have a disability or not.
I hope that we can all join together to bring about a society where all people, regardless of disability, can ride the trains they want to ride, and to create a society where people with disabilities do not have to be told that they are pitied.
The image is not from JR but from Hiroshima Electric Railway. I was very impressed by Hiroshima Electric Railway’s wheelchair accessibility whenever I rode their trains, and I use this image to express my wish that “I wish JR could offer this kind of train ride”. Please note that this petition has nothing to do with Hiroshima Electric Railway.
Notice of Campaign
The Importance of Letting People Know
October 28, 2022
Last night, the number of supporters exceeded 40,000. Thank you so much for all the shares and signatures.
We believe that all of your comments and the posts that you share publicly on social networking sites are all important “voices”. I will be picking up as many of those as I can, printing them out anonymously one at a time, scrapping them into a notebook, and submitting them with the signature list on the day of the event.
In particular, I feel that the actual experiences of wheelchair users, people with disabilities, and their families who are like me are very valuable and sincere voices.
I have received many truly real voices such as “I have had many jobs that were ruined because I was late because I couldn’t get on the train even after waiting for 30 minutes,” “I stopped using JR trains because I didn’t know when I could get on,” “I cried with frustration on the station platform,” and so on.
Every time I hear such voices, I feel again strongly the necessity of delivering this petition. I want to reduce the number of people who feel like that, even if only a little.
I don’t know what kind of power this petition will have in the future, but I believe that there is great value in first “making the government aware of the current situation”.
We wheelchair users have been experiencing a lot of sadness and frustration, but we have no place to talk about it, and in the end, we have had to just put up with it.
It would be meaningful just to let people in power know about this reality, and I am sure that something will change after that. I believe so.
Thank you all for your cooperation, and please continue to support us until October 30.
[Last Spurt] To Submit Signatures
October 26, 2022
I launched the petition six months ago alone and it continues to grow with the support of over 37,000 people.
Six months ago, I launched a one-man petition that has now grown to over 37,000 people. I would like to thank all of you who have supported me and this campaign in your own ways, whether by endorsing, sharing, or funding advertisements. Thank you very much.
We have decided to submit the signatures with the voices of so many people to the government in the near future. We have been able to come this far thanks to the various people who have connected us with each other.
I live in Japan as a social minority with a disability, but I have learned that there are so many people who wish the same as I do and are willing to take action for change so that “people can live their lives riding the trains they want to, regardless of whether they are in a wheelchair or not” and that “even though I belong to a social minority, I am not alone. I felt as if I had received a push from everyone to say, “Even if you belong to a social minority, you can live in society with dignity. I felt as if I was able to move forward one step from my daily life where people look at me and say, “Poor handicapped people. Thank you for thinking together and valuing the rights of us disabled people to “ride the train in front of us” together.
Because I sincerely believe that I am not the only one who has made it this far, I really do not want to limit the precious voices of the supporters to a specific time, but for the sake of preparing to submit the signatures, I would like to extend the deadline for signatures until Sunday, October 30, 2012.
I would like to collect as many voices as possible from those who agree with me until the time when we deliver the signatures to the government. This is a signature drive that has been created not only by me, but by everyone. I hope that this petition will reach as many people as possible.
Please help us with your last spurt of cooperation.
[Report] Future of Signature Drive for JR
October 3, 2022
It has already been half a year since we launched the petition, and the time has passed so fast that people around me ask, “Oh, by the way, how is that petition coming along?” I am sorry for the delay in reporting to you. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to report to you.
The number of signatures exceeded 10,000 within 4 days of its launch, and as of now, 15,726 signatures have been collected.
Thank you very much.
We have not closed this petition and are still accepting signatures, but we plan to submit the final petition to the government. We will not waste such a large number of signatures.
We are now having a strategy meeting with the help and wisdom of various people. We will update you as soon as we have a concrete schedule for submitting the petition to the government.
I personally hope to be able to talk directly with the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, but that is still my own wish. I am sure I will be trembling if that really happens, so I would be very happy if you could give me your warm support then. I believe that all of you who signed the petition are on my side.
I am just an ordinary citizen who has no great power over the country, but I will do what I can do, believing that if I gather many voices of such ordinary citizens, they will become a great power.
I am still collecting signatures for the long and thin.
Thank you so much for those who have signed the petition and shared it.
I hope I can return the favor by getting your signatures to the country, so please continue to help us!
I hope that even one less wheelchair user will have to forgo their train today.
Thank you! We have over 10,000 supporters.
April 9, 2022 –
The number of supporters of the petition to improve the wheelchair accessibility system for JR has already exceeded 1,000!
It’s been four days since we launched the petition to improve the wheelchair accessibility system for JR, and already we have over 1,000 supporters! Thank you so much for your support and sharing.
When I first started this petition, I had no idea how it would turn out, but I was surprised to see the number of supporters exceed 10,000 within a few days of its launch. I was the one who started this petition by myself, but every time everyone agrees with me, I feel that I am not alone at all. Thank you very much.
The goal of this petition is to get your voices to JR and ask them to change. That is a goal that will never change, but in the process of this signature drive, we have received many comments from people who said, “I didn’t know this situation existed.
I feel that this signature gathering process is also very meaningful in terms of “making people aware” of the situation. There are many, many things that I myself do not know, and I do not think that not knowing is wrong.
What is important is not to ignore that reality, but to try to know the reality that one did not know. I believe that only by knowing it, one can have the courage and energy to take the next action.
And I am sure it is the same for us and JR; we should let JR know the reality by sending our voices to them, and together we can take the next action. That is what I, as a social worker for people with disabilities, am aiming for.
After all, society is made up of each and every human being. In this light, I believe that society is not something that cannot be changed, but something that we, as people within that society, can change.
Even if each individual’s voice is small, if we can gather those voices, surely this society will change, even if only little by little. With this belief, I will continue to work hard on this petition drive.
Thank you for your continued cooperation.
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Please be careful not to forget!
DisabilityLog also has two wheelchair users and disseminates information on barrier-free access.
Please refer to the following article for more information. Below is an article about the traffic situation.
There’s been a lot of talk on Twitter lately about issues related to elevator wait times!
2階から1階に降りたいだけなのに— 渋谷真子 (@s_maco_) October 28, 2022
First of all, it is most important to make people aware of the current situation of people with disabilities. It would be good if people with disabilities could actively go outside and have opportunities to interact with the people around them. Like the Para-Travel Support Project 2022 Chiba City Triathlon that was held recently.
It is also important for people with disabilities to be proactive in communicating their problems and challenges so that they can be known. Without people with disabilities around them, it is difficult to know how they are living and what kind of problems they are facing.
It is also essential to change the mindset of not only the people involved but also the able-bodied people. We should pay attention to how we should interact with people in wheelchairs and strollers in our daily lives so that we can naturally talk to them and change our behavior when we see them around us.
We hope that this article will be a good starting point for everyone to think about DEI&B (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging). Thank you for taking the time to read this long article.