Liz is a crip activist and actor, now trying to gain experience as a stand-up comedian. Originally from the North West, she recently moved to London, lured by the bright lights and the promise of fame and fortune. She's still waiting.
The Accessible Land of the Rising Sun
3rd June 2009
On arrival, what I actually discovered was that Japan is without question one of the most crip-friendly countries that I've ever visited. Every pavement had a slope for wheelies and raised markings to assist blind people. I saw disabled people of all ages and impairments going about their everyday lives. People even stared less at me in Japan than they do in the UK.
of disabled people in the upholstery pattern
My guidebook had warned me that the toilets in Japan were the dreaded hole in the ground type, so I arrived prepared to do my own unique version of the crouching tiger hidden dragon. In reality, however, the crip toilets were not only of normal height, but the rooms themselves were huge with a fold down changing bed and every public convenience mod con you could ever dream of.
toilets that so impressed Liz Carr
My search for the almost mythical accessible escalator finally came to an end just before we headed home. It was in the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Centre. It wasn’t quite what I’d expected, in that none of the staff knew it existed and no one had actually used it before my visit. My dream of disabled and non-disabled people riding side by side on an escalator in perfect harmony was dashed - but since I was here, I still wanted to have a go.
wheelchair accessible escalator in Tokyo
Live community panel
Listen to our regular razor sharp talk show online, or subscribe to it as a podcast. Spread the word: it's where disability and reality almost collide.