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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Understanding and Support of Disabilities
Experiencing Disabilities Firsthand

Toru Sasaki
1st year student at the School of Human Sciences

In this class, under the theme of "Studying how to correctly understand disabilities and means of appropriate support," I came to a deeper understanding of numerous types of disabilities by way of lectures held by teachers and guest speakers. Among the guest speakers, people who actually have disabilities came to talk, and enthusiastically shared with us about their experiences.

Students then listened eagerly and at almost every time there were many students who positively asked questions during the question and answer time and after classes.

Sasaki taking a class

Currently, along with increasing appreciation of disabilities, the number of people who think of offering a helping hand when they see people with disabilities around town is increasing. However, we learnt through these classes that this kind of approach can conversely become a burden to those with disabilities.

"Particularly when someone offers me help when it is not needed, if I refuse then the person can pull a strange face, which is worrying, so I wonder if I would be better to ask something of them"
"Some people are too concerned about those with disabilities. I think I would feel comfortable if people were not so concerned about me."

This is what some of the guest speakers said during the classes. There may be a tendency somewhere in us to think that "Disabled people = people who must be helped". In daily life, there are certainly times when it is necessary to help people with disabilities. However, people should not decide to act based on their own assumptions. Rather, a good approach is to ask "Need any help"? for confirmation, and then asking what kind of assistance is required.

Finally, I think that both those who normally show concern for people with disabilities as well as those who do not can gain many things from the class. From a point of view of broadening one's own perspectives, I would recommend that a lot of people take these classes.

This course is headed by Professor Takuro Hatakeyama from the School of Human Sciences and managed with full cooperation by the Disabled Student Services Office. Combined with practical note taking guidance, classes will be held in the 2012 spring semester, so be sure to check them out!