Today, I would like to share what makes me happy and unhappy.
First, let me tell you what disappointed me. During a conference,
I talked about an improvement of career opportunities for the
Challenged, that is, individuals with disabilities, by using
IT (information technology), while they are nursed and being
taken care of by others at the same time. They, the Challenged,
were not born to be helped, but instead it is important
for them to set their own goals. And being employed and
actually working is considered to be that goal by many
of the Challenged. These were my points at the conference.
However, after the conference, I heard a male attendant or
caretaker of one of the Challenged (possibly a volunteer, or
a person from an institution) screaming at the Challenged, saying, You
should not be complaining about your current situation. There
are non-disabled being fired from their jobs!
At the Prop Station, the Challenged are in charge of computer
seminars. They not only teach the Challenged, but also the elderly,
mothers, and individuals who have been fired and wanting to learn
how to use personal computers. All these groups of people are
dealing with the same difficulties by not being employed.
Japan is about to face an aging society in the near future.
It will be impossible to face this serious issue without great
support by those who are willing to be employed and be part of
society. The Prop Station believes that creating a society where
the Challenged with severe disabilities are being employed, will
be a model for the next generation when more people have a career
and are responsible for society. I strongly hope those around
the Challenged do not thwart the hidden potential they have by
denying them possibilities.
The thing that made me very happy was news from the Ministry
of Health, Labor, and Welfare. They have decided to support more
organizations, like Prop Station, that provide programs for the
Challenged to become teleworkers. About twenty organizations
across the country will be supported in the first year, and then
it is assumed that the number will be increased later.
The program we provide at the Prop Station is like an experimental
plant of teleworking by the Challenged. We would like to
see some improvement in our social system by learning from our
success cases of the teleworking.
I will always keep in close contact with those who have the
same philosophy and goals as I have.