京王プラザ ボランティアプラザ 参加報告

Volunteer event at Keio Plaza Hotel

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Hello. I'm J.J. I am one of the coordinators of Accessible Activities. I visited the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo with one of our members YUKORIN who is a wheelchair user, to attend its annual event called "Volunteer Plaza."


The Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo is one of the leading hotels in Japan which took initiative in accepting people with disabilities and promoting universal accessibility. I will report on this hotel's approach to deepen understanding of people with disabilities from the point of view of the attendants at the event.

Demonstration of Assistance Dogs

2002年に身体障害者補助犬法が制定されましたが、まだまだ補助犬同伴を断られてしまうケースはあるようです。補助犬には役割別に、1)盲導犬、2)聴導犬、3)介助犬の3種類に分けられます。それぞれの補助犬がどのように障がいを持たれた方をサポートしているのか、1)公益財団法人 日本盲導犬協会、2)一般社団法人 日本聴導犬推進協会、3)社会福祉法人 日本介助犬協会による、実演を見学することができました。

The Act on Assistance Dogs for Physically Disabled Persons was enacted in 2002. However, there are still cases where a disabled person accompanied by an assistance dog is refused to enter some buildings. Assistance dogs are classified into three types according to their roles: guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs. I watched how each type of dogs assist people with disabilities at the demonstration given by Japan Guide Dog Association, the Japanese Association for the Promotion of Hearing dogs and the Japan Service Dog Association.

  1. 盲導犬 - Guide dogs
    1. 段差を教えるサポート(段差の手前で止まる)
    2. 障害物をよけるためのサポート(障害があったら前に立って歩行を止める)
    3. 曲がり角を教える

    Guide dogs provide support for blind people or people with visual impairments. The main tasks of a guide dog are divided into three behaviors.
    1. A guide dog tells its owner if there are steps: it stops at the steps.
    2. A guide dog helps its owner avoid obstacles: it stops in front of the owner so he or she can stop and make a turn.
    3. A guide dog tells its owner if there are curves.
    A guide dog named Koto stops at a step.
  2. 聴導犬 - Hearing dogs

    Hearing dogs provide support for deaf people or people with hearing impairments. They also play a role as a sign to tell people that their owners have hearing disability because people with hearing disability hardly look different from abled people. The main tasks of a hearing dog are to tell its owner the sounds of a timer, intercom and alarm clock. It does not bark at the owner but it tells the sounds to him or her by touching his or her body. 目覚ましの代わりに障がい者を起こす、聴導犬さやちゃん
    A hearing dog named Saya is waking up a person with hearing disability instead of an alarm clock.
  3. 介助犬 - Service dogs

    Service dogs provide support for people with physical disability in their daily life. For example, a service dog picks up objects its owner dropped, takes off his or her clothes and puts them into a laundry basket, takes a plastic bottle from a refrigerator and brings its owner his or her cellphone. Service dogs do a various range of tasks to meet their owners' needs. So they get training according to each owner's needs.冷蔵庫からペッドボトルを取り出す、介助犬ダンク
    A service dog named Dank is taking a plastic bottle from a refrigerator.

Sign Language Session


I attended the sign language session. In the session, Manami Mito who is a sign language performer from the northeastern Japan sang in sign language "We All Live" and "Stroll," which is one of the theme songs of "My Neighbor Totoro." I learned from her performance how to say "Thank you" "I like it very much," "Goodbye" in sign language. Ms. Mito met a person with hearing disability in her school days. She became fascinated by being expressive through sign communication with her friend. She said that showing expressions and looking into their eyes are important when talking with people with hearing disabilities. That is how she became interested in sign language and now she carries out activities related to it.

Mito is performing sign language.

Experience Area


There were booths where attendants were able to experience being in wheelchairs, having cataract and having the weariness of the elderly.
We tried to get a wheelchair up and down a step. When you get a wheelchair down a step by using your thighs as support, you feel less weight.

A staff member is getting YUKORIN in a wheelchair down a step.
Goods for experience of having cataract
I experienced having cataract and the weariness of the elderly

Universally Accessible Facilities in the Hotel


The Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo has a long history of accepting guests with disabilities. It started to accept a group of wheelchair users in 1988. Accessible members also supported their stay. At that time, the term of "barrier–free" or "accessibility" was not familiar in Japan. The hotel used the term of "the rooms for the handicapped." Its new universally accessible rooms were built in 2002 and then a toilet for assistance dogs was made in the hotel area in 2007. There are 10 universally accessible rooms on the 30th floor where the Deluxe rooms are situated. Now, let us take a look at one of the universally accessible rooms.

The universally accessible room
The entrance is 85cm wide. A wheelchair user can enter the room even moving diagonally.


A wheelchair user can open the entrance door without moving backwards because there is room for a wheelchair at the entrance with the door opened. And a bar handle instead of a door knob is installed on the door so that a person with a weak grip can open it easily. A liquid crystal monitor is also fixed on the lower part of the door so that a wheelchair user can check who comes through the monitor screen. Moreover, the switches of the lights and air-conditioner are fixed on naturally lower part of the wall for wheelchair users to turn them on and off.

There are many idea goods in the bathroom.
A ramp at the entrance of the bathroom
Grab bars are equipped near the bath tub with a slip-proof mat.
A bath chair which you can take a shower on
Rubber bands are put on bottles for people with visual disability: 2 rubber bands put on a shampoo bottle, 1 rubber band on a hair conditioner bottle and no rubber bands on a body soap bottle.
An electric reclining bed
An electric panel shows emergency information to people with hearing disability. It also shows them the arrival of a visitor.
Bowls of dog food and water for assistance dogs
You can also borrow a mat for them.
A tablet computer for communication by writing between rooms, the reception and the room service counter.


There are more features. The special door closer allows the entrance door to be opened with a small push, to move slowly and then to be shut firmly. There is an electric arm chair with a standing-up support device, which is made-to-order by the hotel. You can use a voice guidance device which tells you where you are in the hotel. Besides, the desk allows space for a wheelchair to roll under it. Sockets and LAN cables are installed within the reach of wheelchair users. Tea cup sets are placed at the front part of the desk. I found some grooves at the back of the desk surface for a wheelchair user to take a seat easily. As we saw, the hotel offers various services to guests with disabilities. When you make a reservation for the universally accessible room by phone, a reservation clerk asks you what you need and a specific setting which meets your personal needs will be prepared for your stay. Even if you would ask for all the services, you do not have to pay additional charges because all the services are included in the accommodation fee.


There is an open toilet for assistance dogs outside the building. This is the first toilet in Japan which a hotel made for assistance dogs.

The toilet for assistance dogs beside the front entrance

A short message from YUKORIN


In the universally accessible room, the most impressive point for me was the "grooves" carved on the back of the desk surface. When I gripped the grooves and pulled toward myself, my wheelchair moved forward and I could take a seat at the desk smoothly without maneuvering my wheelchair. Of course, the high-technological furniture and electrical equipment which provide care for people with disabilities are wonderful. However, I learned that such simple ideas such as the carved grooves on the backside of the desk would also make wheelchair users comfortable to stay in the room. I can assure you that you would feel courteous consideration for the elderly or disabled people in every aspect of the universally accessible room.


In the event, I watched the demonstration by assistance dogs, learned sign language and experienced how inconvenient disabled people felt. I also took a look at the universally accessible room where the hotel offers courteous and considerate services to guests with disabilities. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn about a model of disabled accessibility. The Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo holds the event annually. Would you like to try to attend too?


車いすで観光 街中調査秋葉原
Field work in Akihabara area
車いすで観光 バスタ新宿
Field work in Shinjuku Express