12月2日～5日、アメリカNew Yorkにて、国際障害者デーに合わせて開催されたDESAのイベントに出席しました。パネルディスカッション”Making cities inclusive and accessible for all”にてスピーチしました。
（開催案内へのリンク）International Day of Persons with Disabilities2015
（動画へのリンク）UN WEB TV (Part 1) International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2015 （2時間08分くらいから）
Thank you madam moderator for your kind introduction. For your information, I’m running for the CRPD committee next year.
As Ambassador YOSHIKAWA mentioned, Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games for the first time in summer of 1964. For our country, the Olympic Games in 1964 symbolized the miraculous revival after the war, rapid economic growth, and people’s ambitions and hopes for the future. This event served as a showcase for Japan to demonstrate its social and technological momentum.
But one notion that was absent from current view we share was inclusion of diversities. Most probably, to the organizers of the games in the 1964 Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games were an additional cost to host the Olympic Games. The 1964 Paralympic Games were quietly hosted, and did not appear in mass media. Its impact on society was almost none.
In 2020, Tokyo will host its second Olympic and Paralympic Games. How times has changed. There are so many people in various sectors of society who feel this is an invaluable opportunity to make our cities and make our society inclusive, and open to diversities, Disabilities, language, culture, religion, gender, etc.
Today, I want to talk about a topic, location-aware technology for freedom of movement. Freedom of movement requires one to be able to know where one is at any places as minimum condition.
In order to achieve it, accurate positional information must be accessible. Highly inclusive digital maps and navigational information must be accessible.
Human support system such as accompanying service for the blinds and persons with intellectual disabilities must be well working. It is needless to say that physical barriers must be removed.
Nowadays, under the open sky conditions, anyone can access almost accurate positional information using the radio waves from GPS satellites. However, GPS satellites waves are not receivable inside of buildings, and almost useless between high-rise buildings causing canyon effect. To solve this problem, big cities like Tokyo must install such local devices as beacons.
To provide accurate positional information, these devices must be placed closely enough to each other to ensure all important places must be covered.
Now, the question is who will or who should install them. Will it be installed by business or should it be installed by public investment? Maybe both.
Location-aware technology for freedom of movement also requires highly inclusive digital maps. It is even more challenging than providing accurate positional information in big cities.
Usually, POI; point of interest information is stored in the digital map as point information. Blind persons probably want to know the entrance of the POI. However, the point information does not always point the entrance of each POI. Persons with wheelchairs may want to know where the accessible passage to them is, instead of the shortest route to a destination.
It is rather easy to create an inclusive map and navigational system for a specific area as one time pilot project. But it is very very difficult to create, update and sustain a highly inclusive map covering a whole city.
Collaboration and integration between civil society activities such as Open Street Map and other co-creative mapping projects, proprietary accessible maps provided by global companies such as Google Map, assistive technology products and the government and local government policies such as inclusive local infrastructure installation, open data, and the human accompanying service may achieve it. Participation of persons with disabilities to such a project is an indispensable condition.
I talked about one topic among thousands. But it is already very challenging. It’s worth challenging and is very exciting. Thank you very much.
3 December 2015, Jun ISHIKAWA