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Advocates Go Door-To-Door To Promote Accessible Menus
February 23, 2006

KITA-KYUSHU, JAPAN--A group of advocates with vision-related disabilities are on a mission to persuade all local restaurants to add menus in Braille and large print.

Thursday's Asahi Shimbun reported that, since the area's welfare association started its campaign nine months ago, no less than 150 eateries have signed on. Members continue going door-to-door to promote the message that businesses ought to be accessible to all potential customers, especially those whose vision may be changing as the population ages.

Association president Toshimitsu Kinoshita said that its members are making it easy for restaurants and other businesses to cater to patrons that have trouble seeing menus and other written instructions. Volunteers translate the information free of charge. The cost of printing one page in Braille is just 230 yen ($2.00 US).

Kinoshita said that about 4,000 people in the area could benefit from the Braille and large print menus.

"Eventually we want (people with vision-related disabilities) to be able to go to an izakaya (bar or lounge) and order whatever catches their fancy," Kinoshita said.

The Asahi Shimbun noted that for years other organizations across Japan have been actively urging businesses to keep Braille menus and other print items on hand, but that they are seldom used.

Tsuneo Tsutsumi, who heads a similar group in Tokyo, said that it is important for people with disabilities to eat out more often.

"Unless we demonstrate our need for Braille menus, nothing will change. We have to change the way restaurants think."

Entire article:
"Groups in push to bring Braille menus to eateries across the nation" (Asahi Shimbun)

http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200602230147.html

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