Full paper "Accessibility requirements of tsunami evacuation manuals; lessons learned from an on-site research in Urakawa, Japan"
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Full paper "Accessibility requirements of tsunami evacuation manuals; lessons learned from an on-site research in Urakawa, Japan"

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Accessibility requirements of tsunami evacuation manuals; lessons learned from an on-site research in Urakawa, Japan

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Full paper "Accessibility requirements of tsunami evacuation manuals; lessons learned from an on-site research in Urakawa, Japan" Full paper "Accessibility requirements of tsunami evacuation manuals; lessons learned from an on-site research in Urakawa, Japan" Document Transcript

  • NAPSIPAG International Conference “Locked in Growth Patterns: Rethinking land management and disasters for the post-2015 development agenda for the Asia Pacific”, 7th to 9th December 2013,Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University Accessibility requirements of tsunami evacuation manuals; lessons learned from an on-site research in Urakawa, Japan Hiroshi Kawamura*, Mayu Hamada* and Ai Kawamura** *Assistive Technology Development Organization **EX Research Institute, Ltd 1. Pilot project for development of accessible scientific kowledge on tsunami and skills for evacuation Authorsshare the hypothesis that scientific knowledge on potential risks of tsunami disasters and the best evacuation route is the prerequisite for survival of individuals living in potential tsunami hit zones. Persons living with disabilities in the community have difficulties inevacuation if access to knowledge on risks, early warning, evacuation route, shelters and evacuation drills in the community are not guaranteed. In order to tackle this issue, the research groupihas been developing accessible tsunami evacuation manuals that meet requirements of everybody in the community since 2003in collaboration with key stakeholders of the Urakawa Town, located in the coastal area of the most frequent earthquake zone in the North East Japan.Close collaborators in Urakawa includes Bethel’s House, a mutual support group of 150 members including those with severe psycho-social disabilities living in the community, autonomous groups of community residents and the Town Authority. 2. North East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami A magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred off the Pacific coast of North East Japan at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on 11thMarch 2011 was the most powerful known earthquake ever hit Japan. The earthquake triggered tsunami which reached as high as 40 meters. As of 8th November 2013, the Japanese National Police Agency confirmed 15,883 deaths and
  • NAPSIPAG International Conference “Locked in Growth Patterns: Rethinking land management and disasters for the post-2015 development agenda for the Asia Pacific”, 7th to 9th December 2013,Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University 2,651 people missing. We lost more than 1 million buildings. In addition, three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex melt down as a result of the earthquake and tsunami. We are struggling with radio active substances still now. On 11th March 2011 the Urakawa Town was attacked by 2.7 m tsunami which resulted in US$3 million loss of propertiesbut there was no human casualties due to swift evacuation from tsunami attacked zone.Members of the Bethel’s House including members with severe psycho-social disabilities living in the community proved to be able to showcase evacuation with confidence in their safety as a result of their scientific knowledge acquired from accessible tsunami evacuation manual and evacuation skills gained through their regular evacuation drills integrated into their social skill training program.The Urakawa Town Authority praised the showcase evacuation as they were deeply concerned with the reaction of the community when the Mayor issued evacuation order. “Thanks to the first group of evacuees who knew accurate evacuation route with confidence, people in the potential tsunami attack zone could easily start their evacuation”, said the person in charge of disaster management of the Urakawa Town Authority. Figure 1.Urakwa Town 16:42 pm 11th March 2011 photographed by the Town Authority 3. Evaluation of 3 evacuation practices Authors comparedtsunami evacuation practices on 11thMarch 2011 in 3 different areas in North East Japan, Ishinomaki, Kamaishi and Urakawa,to identify key factors for survival at community level with two indicators;1) knowledge on tsunami, shelterand evacuation route, 2) skills to evacuate including collaboration with neighbours.
  • NAPSIPAG International Conference “Locked in Growth Patterns: Rethinking land management and disasters for the post-2015 development agenda for the Asia Pacific”, 7th to 9th December 2013,Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University At Okawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki City, we lost lives of 74 students and 10 teachers even though the school itself was designated to a shelter. They had more than half an hour for evacuation after the strong earthquake. When they decided to evacuate to higher ground, it was too late, and unfortunately, they moved towards tsunami which quickly run up along the wide river nearby and attacked them from higher ground. The reasons why they did not dicideto evacuate immediately are still under investigation. Figure 2Ookawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki City In Kamaishi City, regular schools for compulsory education had a program on tsunami evacuation including evacuation drills. Students were well informed by video programs thattell even a sharrow tsunami stream may have power to wash away adults and cars. When the first alert of tsunami issued immediately after the quake on 11th March 2011, the estimated tsunami height was 3 meters. Adults who believed in the 8 meters seawall protecting Kamaishi City did not pay attention to tsunami but worked on putting things fell down by the strong earthquake in place. When the alert of tsunami height was elevated to more than 10 meters, electricity of the tsunami hit zone was already cut off. However, students including those at home alone started evacuation trigerred by the big quake thanks to education and training. Some of them argued grand parentswho wanted to change their mind and successfully survived together. Thanks to timely evacuation, even though many lives of adults were lost, more than 99% of school childrens could surviveii. 4. Key findings The key factors for survival learned from the comparison of 3 different evacuation practices from tsunami on 11th March 2011 are1) timely decision making and 2) capacity of evacuation.
  • NAPSIPAG International Conference “Locked in Growth Patterns: Rethinking land management and disasters for the post-2015 development agenda for the Asia Pacific”, 7th to 9th December 2013,Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University The finding tells the fact that many of those who have been assumed to be “vulnerable”, those with severe psycho-social disabilities in Urakawa and elementary school kids in Kamaishi, actually have different ability to become active players of evacuation for the whole community. The key for successful evacuation in both Urakawa and Kamaishi is access to knowledge, information and communication, and shelters including evacuation route and immediate decision making for evacuation as a reaction to big earthquakes. As long as the tsunami is concerned, we may expect zero human casualties if evacuation of the whole community becomes successful. The question is “how to promote timely decision making”. Of course, sharing scientific knowledge is the baseline for decision making. People with special needs requires accommodation to meet their requirements. The “DAISY iii multimedia manual for Tsunami Evacuation iv ” is an example of accessible and easy-to-understand manual for persons with special requirements. Figure 3 A screen shot of the Tsunami Evacuation Manual in DAISY multimedia format 5. Role of accessible ICT and the way forward
  • NAPSIPAG International Conference “Locked in Growth Patterns: Rethinking land management and disasters for the post-2015 development agenda for the Asia Pacific”, 7th to 9th December 2013,Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University Innovation of sharing knowledge towards accessible, easy-to-understand, customizable and affordable formatsuch as EPUB3 v and DAISY may greatly help persons with disabilities and other “vulnerable” people to become active participants of inclusive disaster risk reduction development in the community. Access by persons with disabilities requires accommodation of diverse individual requirements. For example, a handbook on tsunami evacuation for promotion of self-help/mutual-support need to be understood by everybody in the community in particular those with special requirements to understand the handbook. Those requirements include reading aloud, enlarging font, changing color contrast, adding pictures and maps, translation to braille, sign language and other languages, &c. In 2005, DAISY and W3C/SMIL developers around the world got together in Urakawa to discuss this issue and launched the Urakawa Project which is maintained by the DAISY Consortium still now. The tangible outcome of the Urakawa Project were W3C/SMIL3.0 vi and Urakawa SDK vii both are contributing DAISY/EPUB3 development to meet the crucial requirements of persons with disabilities at risk As the article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) indicates, accessibility of persons with disabilities may be guaranteed by development of a combination of universally designed infrastructure which collaborates with assistive technologies when adaptation is necessary. As long as the published knowledge is concerned, DAISY/EPUB3 propose an industry platform to meet the diverse requirements we mentioned already. In this context, the government and the international community are requested to help emerging accessible electronic publishing and accessible broadband network to support the implementation of internationally agreed measures and instruments for Disability Inclusive Development such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitiesviii, the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled ix and the ESCAP Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacificx. In conclusion, therevision process for the Hyogo Framework for Action xi and the Millennium Development Goals xii for post-2015 must change the mindset on the “vulnerables”from a burden to the asset of a community with practical empowering policies and practices at all levels that meet the accessibility requirements of all. Further contacts:
  • NAPSIPAG International Conference “Locked in Growth Patterns: Rethinking land management and disasters for the post-2015 development agenda for the Asia Pacific”, 7th to 9th December 2013,Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University Hiroshi Kawamura: hkawa@atdo.jp Mayu Hamada: Ai Kawamura: hamada@atdo.jp kawamura@exri.co.jp iThe research group includes researchers from Assistive Technology Development Organization, Autism Society of America, DAISY Consortium, Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, Kentucky Autism Training Center,National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities Research Institute, Urakawa Bethel’s House, &c. iihttp://www.nhk.or.jp/sonae/mirai/program_sp01/watch03.html (in Japanese) iiiDigital Accessible Information System http://www.daisy.org/ ivThe DAISY version manual is downloadable from : http://atdo.sakura.ne.jp/files/DAISY/share/tsunami_urakawa_en_exe_mp3.zip vInternational digital Publishing Forum in collaboration with the DAISY Consortium developed a mainstream digital publishing standard EPUB3.http://idpf.org/ vihttp://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-SMIL3-20081201/ viihttp://www.daisy.org/daisyforall viiihttp://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml ixhttp://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_details.jsp?doc_id=245323 xhttp://www.unescap.org/publications/detail.asp?id=1523 xihttp://www.unisdr.org/we/coordinate/hfa xiihttp://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/