Realizing a universal (cooperative-coexistent) society initiated by ICT.
Most of the challenged who learn and work for Prop Station("Prop" for
short) require help and care in everyday life. ICT has played a crucial role in activating their potential resources in practical society. They can operate a computer by using assistive devices if they can move any part of their body such as toe, mouth, eyelid etc. instead of fingers.
ICT is an important tool to the challenged with intellectual and mental disabilities. The latest technical innovation in developing hardware and software has produced the most advanced assistive devices. Prop Station provides seminars and training appropriate for challenged trainees not only physically disabled but also for those with intellectual and mental disabilities, leaning disabilities, or autism. They exercise their individuality and abilities by ICT. It is usually called "IT" in Japan while internationally called "ICT". The "C" stands for communications. Essentially, ICT plays a great role in human-to-human or human-to-social communication.
It takes more than their effort to put their individuality and ability to work in a society. It is essential that we see not only their disability but their potentiality and that we create a new technology and system to bring them out . We can take pride when encouraged by others.
That is regardless as to whether we have disability or not. The thought that only through the welfare system can disabled persons survive is a negative view that can be damaging to the confidence, hopes, and pride of those disabled who wish to, and can become more.
Recently, a sound Japanese saying "MOTTAINAI" is highlighted again. It would be a real waste if people aren’t given the chance to realize their ability. I think we need a flexible system that can put disabled people not only on the supported side but on the supporting side and reform our society as a whole.
My daughter was born 34 years ago with serious mental and physical disabilities. Now she is a severe mentally and physically challenged person and requires full-time care. She has thoroughly taught me that the world is diversified and that it is natural for people to grow up in a different way.
She is my mentor and my treasure. Although I used to be the prototype of a delinquent girl, my daughter brought me the position I am in now. So it's not an exaggeration to say that our activity is always supported by her. I strongly don't want others to pity her. I am proud of her.
In Prop Station the disabled is are not referred to as "handicapped" but "challenged", which derives from a newly coined American phrase meant to describe people with disabilities. And we aim to forming a universal society where everyone can live with pride and support each other.
It is difficult to translate the word "universal society" into Japanese. If I had to translate, I would use Japanese words meaning "coexistent society" or "society sustained through mutual assistance". I believe that we cannot develop a sustainable system in Japan unless everyone is able to play an active role according to each own's ability with respect and mutuall support for each other.
It is my firm belief that when the day comes that such a society is brought about, I can die in peace, knowing that my daughter will be in good hands. I hope that more people will take initiatives in bringing out their potential talents rather focusing on the issues of disabilities.