Accessibility lessons from Hiroshima and the UK
Auckland has a lot to learn from Hiroshima, Ezekiel Robson reckons. He’ll find out for sure this week.
Mr Robson, a disability advocate, is in the Japanese city for an international exchange programme that focuses on improving community leadership.
He is one of 13 New Zealanders selected by the Ministry of Social Development for their work on issues affecting people with disabilities, the elderly and youth.
People from the United Kingdom and Denmark are also taking part in the twoweek programme, which includes activities in both Hiroshima and Tokyo.
‘‘The main goal is to share examples of leadership and social services in each participating country,’’ Mr Robson says.
Hiroshima, devastated by an atomic bomb during World War II, has plenty to lessons to teach, he says.
Many people were left with lasting disabilities after the bomb and the city has adapted to that.
‘‘I think there’ll be some real lessons to learn from going to a place that has had to be innovative.’’
Participants from Denmark will share their strategies for including elderly people in their society and British participants will share their strengths in youth advocacy.
They’ll also learn about managing non-profit organisations and accessible housing.
Mr Robson is looking forward to applying those lessons when he returns.
‘‘I’m keen to bring back some new ideas and make plans to improve accessibility for all ages,’’ he says.