Dr. Satoru Fukushima (45), who is deafblind and a well-known advocate for the rights of the deafblind, was promoted from the associate professor to the professor on October 1, 2008 at the University of Tokyo Highly-Advanced Science and Technology Research Center.
He is the first deafblind person who became a full-time professor in Japan. Probably it is also a rare case in the world.
Dr. Fukushima teaches the barrier-free theory.
He said, "I would like to do my best to remove various barriers in the University and the society. My lifework is to form a National Helen Keller Center for about 20,000 deafblind persons across Japan and to set up the base of a barrier-free education and research at the University."
He lost sight when he was 9 years old and then lost hearing at the age of 18. Through a new communication system called the "finger braille" which his mother invented and the support of the interpreting with the use of the "finger braille system," he was admitted and went through a university for the first time as a deafblind student.
Since April, 2001, he has been the assistant professor and later the associate professor of the University of Tokyo.
Source: Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 2, 2008