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Tokyo Lego attraction apologises for blocking access for deaf patrons
The Tokyo Legoland Discovery Centre has issued a formal apology for denying access to a deaf guest and pledged to revise its entry policies.
Teacher Tsuyoshi Abe was denied access to the retail-based attraction in April this year when he and his two children were informed in writing that the Centre’s policy requires any disabled guests to have at least one accompanying, non-disabled support guest. As nobody in Abe’s party could hear, the staff explained, they were unable to grant them access to the park.
According to the policy written on Legoland Discovery Centre Tokyo’s website, the reason they don’t permit entry is because without an accompanying guest an all-deaf party wouldn’t be able to hear any emergency alarms and so the park would not be able to guarantee their safety.
With Abe’s children asking why all the other children could play inside when they couldn’t, Abe as a teacher for the deaf, and a representative for children’s support groups at his school, took it upon himself to reach out to the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, who took the issue straight to the Japanese Government.
As a result, the Japanese Government identified that refusing a disabled customer access to a store, park or service without a helper violates the Act for Eliminating Discrimination Against People with Disabilities.
As of last month, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry formally request the company to “work hard to better understand the law and implement changes accordingly”.
A formal apology from a Merlin Japan Entertainment representative followed.
Image: Tokyo Legoland Discovery Centre.
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