Tokyo 2020 is “going against its own policy to be barrier-free” after receiving criticism for not providing ticketing instructions for those with visual impairments.

According to the Japan Times newspaper, the Tokyo Welfare Association of the Blind has reached out to the organising committee requesting for it to add services such as in braille or a CD with ticketing instructions.

The association, which has about 1,300 members with visual impairments, said, according to the newspaper: “Tokyo 2020 is going against its own policy to be barrier-free.”

Tokyo 2020 reportedly responded to the requests by explaining that the ticketing home page has a voice-over function and that it has established a hotline.

The event’s accessibility guidelines state that “all documents intended for public use should be provided in braille, text data, large print, or audio formats.”

The organising committee said in response: “A decision was made not to create braille documents and CDs since they cannot be corrected later.”

The guidelines are only an example of how information can be shared, Tokyo 2020 explained, adding that “people who can’t read braille can still take advantage of audio voice-overs on the home page. Moving forward, it’s unlikely that we will provide information in braille.”

An audio supplement has been provided for the guidebook for the 2020 Games, though many reportedly had trouble finding information on how to buy tickets.

Yoshihiko Sasagawa, the chairman of Tokyo Welfare Association of the Blind, said, according to the Japan Times: “This is a far cry from an inclusive society.”

Image: Marco Verch