Realization of full participation by the disabled in society and acceptance by society so that the disabled would be treated equally.
“I always make my own decisions.” In the past, those who have serious disabilities were thought to be incapable of making their own decisions, until this was proven to be incorrect by The Human Care Association 20 years ago.” In Japan, the 1.8% disabled employment regulation, the pass for the disabled, the pass for the disabled, a half fare system on public transportation, free postage, free admission to sport recreation facilities are provided to the disabled. These systems and regulations are established to help the disabled improve their quality of life. At special schools, the disabled can learn and study under a specially designed curriculum. After several years in these special schools, it is not easy for those who are accustomed to this this especial environment to work and live among people without disabilities. But I believe people with disabilities should live in the mainstream environment. Because the majority of the population live in a different environment of greater convenience, they do not understand our difficulties and needs. Therefore, integration at grass root level is one of the solutions to help those without disabilities and those with disabilities to understand each other.
A program for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific is designed to enable people from the many different countries in the area to study together. We understand our problems and difficulties and can help each other by working together. Lintang who is in a wheel-chair, Muneeb who is auditory challenged, Hun-Ki with slight speech impediment, and Van, visually challenged like me - we have come to understand our different difficulties and individual needs in the course of our training in Japan.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities for organizing this program and for giving us an opportunity to study in many areas. I am also grateful to the Duskin AINOWA Foundation for their effort over the last 20 years to promote a better environment for the disabled in Japan. And most of all, I appreciate its support to the disabled in Asia and the Pacific in making it possible for many of us to participate in this leadership study program in Japan.