Student Group - Excellent Work (Japan)
“How to Make Up for the Inconveniences”
Yuki Nakajima (16 years old, female)
First-year student of the regular course of the senior high school at the Nagano Prefectural School for the Blind in Matsumoto
“I am only visually impaired.”
This is the phrase stipulated in a blind soccer PR poster.
I was deeply impressed when I heard this phrase.
In general, so many people might not know how much the people with visual impairment could do.
When I walk, some people say “Wow, you can do it” and when I talk, other people say “I didn’t know you could talk.” I only have impairment in my vision and I do not have any impairment in any other parts of my body.
People react in this way at first but after getting to know each other through talks and various activities, they become interested in me and ask various questions. Through these activities, understanding is deepened.
In order to increase the number of these people, we ourselves with visual impairment must get involved with people and must tell them what we can do by ourselves and what support we need from them.
I still frequently get help from other people for things which I can do. This occurs because I do not tell them what I “can” do. Why I cannot tell them would be my unnecessary consideration to those people who are giving me their helping hand, such as I might hurt them if I told them I could do, because they were too kind to do those for me.
I noticed that repeating this so many times prevented me from growing up myself and at the same time prevented the people from understanding myself, and after all, it is I that would have the biggest trouble in the future. Then, a thought of precisely telling the people what I could do and a thought of increasing what I could do burgeoned in my heart.
To achieve this, I began to daily try finding as many inventive ideas as possible in my daily life and think of how I could have a good command of them in my way of doing and in what way I could do everything efficiently.
I have a habit of instantly tossing away things all around the place. Sometimes a day was ended while I was looking for something.
Therefore, I decided to form a habit of placing things in predetermined places. Doing this helped me get rid of the wasteful time of looking for something and enabled me to use such time for anything others.
When I became aware of various ideas in my daily life, I also found things which I did not know how I should handle properly.
Then, I was lucky to have many pieces of advice from my elders who had already been independent as well as from my teachers.
It was a joy for me to have experienced personally that things I could do myself increased every day. When things I could do myself increased, I was getting interested in many things and had new goals, too. I thought that I would approach to my big target of being independent step by step
By the way, last year, I participated in a Paralympics training camp for cross-country skiing.
There, many people with various impairments participated and all of them were enjoying sports in their own ways.
Each one of them had great goals of being a world’s No. 1 or aiming to set a personal best.
To achieve their goals, all people tried to supplement their impairments. As a result, burdens were applied to unimpaired body portions and there were people who had wounds and blisters at such portions.
Not during practice but during meetings or at meals, when I felt uncomfortable, a person in a wheelchair called out to me and gave a helping hand to me. A standing person brought a person in a wheelchair into a meeting place or a dining room. Everyone helped and supported others, giving a helping hand one another. It was an impressive and marvelous sight.
At that place, I was convinced that even if anyone has anything inconvenient, each person makes efforts in his/her own way and even if anyone finds anything still difficult, everyone helps one another, and then, we could get rid of any difficulty together.
In this way, only a small action of finding ideas for betterment in my life definitely increases things which I can do and helps my world expand. I therefore hope to find as many ideas and contrivances, accumulate them, and further work on myself to become independent.