Recently, Accessible Japan had the opportunity to meet two members of a team of eight out to create Japan’s fist magazine to focus on accessible travel! After finishing their crowdfunding stage, the team is hard at work to create the first edition of Bei Magazine. Kaho Nagashima shared their reason for starting the magazine and what it will be about.
Our team is made up of 7 physiotherapists and one editor, but we all love travel.
During the rehabilitation process, a patient we knew made a defeated comment that “even after I leave the hospital, I won’t be able to travel…” and we knew we had to do something.
After an accident, or other medical incident, time in the hospital is short and most of it is used for rehabilitation and physiotherapy. The rehabilitation time itself is just focused on providing basic life skills for after the patient leaves the hospital, with very little information on how to enjoy life after leaving the hospital.
We, as physiotherapists, want our patients to lead fulfilling lives, so we got together to see if we could do something about this issue. After realizing there is very little information on travel, accessibility, and rehabilitation, we got in touch with an editor and started our magazine.
The magazine has four main purposes:
- Provide necessary knowledge for travel (for both users and suppliers)
- Provide information on travel options and opportunities for those with disabilities
- Provide information for travel suppliers (including hotels and inns) on accessibility and how to make improvements
- Raise awareness about accessible travel for the general public with the visibility of a magazine
In our first issue, we start with the very basic question of “Can wheelchair users go on a vacation?” With a trip to the popular sightseeing spot Hakone, we look at planning, using public transportation, and hotel and sightseeing accessibility information. We tackle some issues that arose, and offer up possible solutions from the viewpoint of physiotherapists.
As we move forward in this project, we will expand to other travel destinations and activities.
Accessible Japan looks forward to following the progress of the magazine and possibly working together by sharing information and raising public awareness of accessible travel.